Isn’t the situation in Israel significantly different than that in South Africa? In many ways, the segregation of the Palestinians and the unsustainable Swiss-cheese Palestine looks like the South African Bantustan. I have been concerned by this for over twenty-five years. But this war in Gaza… Could this not be the outrage of two suicidal nations?
If Palestinians--everyone likes to differentiate Hamas from the Palestinians although they did win a legitimate election--fire rockets on Israel, is this not an act of war? If rockets flew from Mexico and the government of Mexico could not or would not stop it, then the United States would have a right to defend itself. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter declares that it is justified to go to war to defend your borders.
Israel has an apparent strategy of total annihilation. Being justified is different than overwhelming force. Is it unreasonable force?
Rumors fly, saying that they are using human shields in Gaza. Firing rockets from schools and population areas to put children and civilians at risk. How much of the Palestinian death toll are civilians being put in the way of harm as a tactic?
I receive Israeli propaganda that asks for sympathy for the soldiers forced into harm’s way to protect Israel against rockets flying from Gaza. It uses various devices to make you feel sympathy for the soldiers. But it never once mentions Palestinian civilians and sympathy.
I receive Palestinian propaganda that asks for condemnation of the brutal attacks of Israel upon Gaza. It complains about the inordinate amount of force used and the numbers of women and children killed. But never once does it mention the rockets that precipitated, and keeps on flying, the fighting.
Naomi Klein, you are wrong. Your comparison with South Africa is false. In South Africa, the manifesto of the Liberation Struggle was the Freedom Charter that called for a non-racist, non-sexist South Africa. The peace in South Africa was a negotiated settlement. In Palestine, the PLO charter calls for driving the Zionists into the sea. This makes for a difficult negotiating point. If Hamas is actually putting their own people at risk as human shields, then this is not the leadership to be negotiating for you. Israel could possibly even create a case for liberating Palestinians--of course, not under the present circumstances.
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." Golda Meir said that. It almost seems quaint today. At face value, it would seem that the Palestinians have not changed, but the Israelis certainly have. No leader today could ever be caught dead saying this.
Jan 14 2009 - 1:45pm