Guest Post by Temporal who blogs at Baithak
The costs are well known:
- Over 1200 dead Palestinians a majority of them civilians.
- Billions of dollars worth of infrastructure destroyed
- US arms used
- Banned substances used
- It failed in its state objective to crush Hamas
Israel was facing demands for war crimes investigations as it declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza last night after a 22-day assault in which more than 1,200 Palestinians, a third of them children, were killed and 13 Israelis died. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian doctor who worked in Gaza’s hospitals during the conflict, said that Israel was using so-called Dime (dense inert metal explosive) bombs designed to produce an intense explosion in a small space. The bombs are packed with tungsten powder, which has the effect of shrapnel but often dissolves in human tissue, making it difficult to discover the cause of injuries. Raymond Whitaker
Livini in DC and Ohlmert in Tel Aviv are “sorry” for civilian dead. Michael Bell, former Canadian Ambassador to Israel writes:
Israel will hold a general election on Feb. 10. Most polls show that the right-wing Likud opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to come to power. A weak-willed reaction … would have opened the governing coalition’s departing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the Kadima Party’s new leader, and, most of all, Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister and Leader of the formerly dominant Labour Party, to devastating criticism and their portrayal as leaders unable to safeguard their country’s most basic interests. Inaction would have meant humiliation for Mr. Olmert, electoral defeat for Ms. Livni and the end of Mr. Barak’s political career.
Israeli elections are round the corner. Barak and Livni hope to milk this Gaza Invasion to upset Bibi Nethanyahu (another corruption tainted Israeli politician.)
Unless Israel mindset is changed peace will remain an anathema. We desis can understand it too well. The “mindset” that we are familiar with in India and Pakistan that breeds suspicion and inculcates enmity.
The first step required to change the mindset is to shed the victim-mentality. The Israeli enemy is extinct. They should not replace and replicate the failed Nazi tactics. They have to learn to live with dignity and resilience – the same resilience they showed in the face of holocaust. And extend the same dignity and respect to the Palestinians under their occupation.
Over 400 UK writers, professors, intellectuals wrote:
The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities…Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force. We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Never Again should mean never again the ethnic cleansing, ghettoising, discrimination and apartheid would be exercised against others in Israel and it occupied territories.
The world can and should help too.
For a start, the US under Obama should launch a Obama or Clinton Muslim Recovery Plan (a la Marshall Plan) to help the fringe Muslim States.
Hope, not of the divine kind, is awol there. Economic upliftment would counter the zealots appeal more effectively than use of force and threat. The oil rich Arab states can be cajoled, co-opted or persuaded to join this plan.
The Muslims intelligentsia also has to stand up and help shape the opinion in their countries. The eunuchs (hegiRas) of the Muslim world should be exposed for what they are – the Mubaraks, the Sauds, the Abdullahs, the Asads should be exposed for their impotency and incompetency.
The one lesson that is obvious and obviously unlearned by Israel is that force is not the solution. The same lesson should be learned by the Palestinians in the occupied lands and in the diaspora.