gaza-under-siege-ben-heine

This war is not waged by Israel alone. Egypt is as much part of this aggression on Gaza as Israel is. First as a partner in the siege and now as the almost good-cop in a strategy aimed at changing the rules of the game with Hamas. Neither is this war being waged on Hamas. Gaza is a plot of land between 6 and 12 km wide and around 40 km long, inhabited by 1.5 million people, i.e. the density of 4000 people per square kilometer. When it gets bombed, its entire population is targeted.

But collective punishment, targeting family members,  destroying homes, uprooting people and their livelihoods, etc… is standard policy to this conventional army, frustrated by its ineffectiveness and unwilling to subject its soldiers to combat (!?). Goliath used the same methods of collective punishment in Lebanon in 2006. Goliath uses a more domesticated form of the same methods on a regular basis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

What is most mind boggling in this war is neither Israel nor Egypt (or other Arab regimes), but the reaction of Israeli citizens. More voices have come out in condemnation of the war on Gaza than in the early days of the Lebanon war, but most just repeat the official line “we have no other choice”. Most reactions I have seen are a curious blend of the “civilized” feeling of sympathy for the people of Gaza and a joy at the killing. Illogical? Why, it makes perfect sense. See, the civilians being killed… that is the fault of Hamas. As for “the Khamas” being killed… that is the accomplishment of the IDF. Brilliant.

Violence has obviously NOT taken Israel a long way in resolving its problems and securing its borders. On the contrary, its policies have helped shaped its most serious adversary yet: Hizballah. But why learn from history, be it recent or ancient, when perpetual conflict has become your defining characteristic as a nation? As for the Egyptian government, that proverbial lid on a boiling pot, they have an interest in ending the war on Gaza as soon as Israel deems possible.

In the mean time, I add my voice to the voices of other bloggers calling attention to these atrocities.