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Israel’s Rationale for Murder: No One is Innocent – Another Post Gaza bad review

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Israel’s Rationale for Murder: No One is Innocent

When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.

– Israeli Army Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan, 1983

Before [the Palestinians] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived… We are the generation of colonizers, and without the steel helmet and the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home.

– Famous Israeli Army Commander Moshe Dayan

Israel’s official excuses for extinguishing over 1,300 Palestinian lives—half of them civilian and one-third of them children— are oft-repeated by its apologists: Hamas’ rocket fire made the invasion unavoidable, and its tactics made civilian casualties inevitable.

Do these positions dovetail with—or decapitate—history? Are they logical? Are they moral? Or are they smokescreens, designed to disguise troublesome facts about both Israel’s strategy and its very origins?

The reality behind the rockets

[…]

The answer, of course, is that Israel was hiding its own horrors instead. In the few cases where this was not possible—where international institutions, such as the UN, independent relief agencies, and Reuters reporters, were involved—a pattern of a different kind emerged: Israel blew up civilians and civilian supplies, agency officials decried the attack, and Israel accused Hamas of having fired from nearby. Each time, agency representatives emphatically stated that Hamas was not operating in the area and demanded proof of Israel’s claims. None was ever forthcoming.

Only in one case—the killing of 40 civilians taking shelter at a UN building—did Israel confidently claim that it had proof of Hamas fighters firing rockets nearby. But the Israeli military soon changed its story and was forced to invent a new excuse.

As if that weren’t enough, it turns out that Israel itself repeatedly used Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Even in these specific cases where Israel should have exercised restraint for sheer public-relations purposes, it displayed absolutely none. Such is the arrogance afforded overwhelming power. We can only imagine under what cruel circumstances most Palestinians, far removed from international institutions or Western journalists, were ground to dust.

This combination of history and ground reality demolishes the credibility of Israel’s excuse. For a bully to blame the victim is one thing—commonplace, even, among colonizers. But for Israel to expel its victims from their homes, force them into inhuman camps, and then fault them for dying en masse when Israel decided to kill them in a cramped cage of its own design—this is a truly novel achievement in the sphere of cruelty.

Israel is therefore no less responsible for killing civilians than slaughterhouse machinery is responsible for processing cattle.

Killing civilians as a strategy

–more–

Written by morris

February 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Gaza, israel

Tagged with ,

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