Operation Cast Lead (winter 2008-9) is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Israel’s approach to Gaza. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political conflict to which there is no military solution. Yet Israel persists in shunning diplomacy and relying on brute military force – and not as a last resort but as a first resort.
Operation Cast Lead, the first of several incursions by Israel, killed 1,417 Palestinians and just 13 Israelis. Chillingly, the generals call their repeated bombardments ‘mowing the lawn’
Two right-wing ministers criticize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not “acting like a real right-wing government” by being too soft on Gaza, Hamas, and Khan al-Ahmar; but they vow to stay in power rather than resigning as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman did last week.
A United Nations committee is directed to facilitate self-determination among colonized and suppressed people groups. The committee is poised to pass 9 resolutions against Israel. Predictably, the charge of anti-Semitism arises.
It is not hard to dismantle the accusation – using context, fact-checking, and a bit of logic.
The past week has seen the promise of peace shattered, first by an Israeli incursion into Gaza (7 Palestinian, 1 Israeli dead), then Gaza’s rocket retaliation (1 Israeli Palestinian dead), then Israel’s retaliation (7 Palestinians dead). Israel’s defense minister has resigned, and a new, fragile ceasefire is in effect.
Last weekend saw an escalation of violence that started when Israeli military infiltrated Gaza, initiated a firefight, and retreated under cover of shelling. One Israeli and 7 Palestinians were killed, and Hamas responded with rockets. Today, factions in the besieged Gaza Strip say they have agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire. “The resistance will respect this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy respects it.”
3-year-old Louay was not allowed to have his mother present for his chemo treatments in Nablus because she is a “first-degree relative of a Hamas member.” But following widespread reporting, Louay’s mother was informed that she will be allowed to join him.
With many thanks to the Goldin family – whose son’s remains are being held by Hamas – Israel is withholding humanitarian exit permits, especially to Gazans “related to Hamas members.” This leaves little Louay without a relative for his trips to Nablus for chemo.
Though in the past 4 months Israel has killed over 160 Palestinians & Hamas has killed 2 Israelis, Israel felt it was time for an all-out airstrike against Gaza. At least 140 bombs were dropped, killing a pregnant mother, 23, and her 18 month old daughter…
Israeli soldiers “came under fire” at Gaza border, 1 moderate injury; in response, Israeli tanks targeted 7 Hamas military posts, killing 3 Palestinians, gravely injuring a 4th.
Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin speaks as though Israel alone has Gaza’s best interests in mind, but a little digging proves his words to be utterly disingenuous.