Devastating commentary on Israel

PHOTO: Smoke rising from Gaza

If you’ve limited yourself to major American news sources and the official statements of our government’s top officials, you might be inclined to think that recent crisis in Israel/Gaza is unquestionably the fault of Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.

That impression would hardly be accurate. Here’s what Gideon Levy in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz had to say:

For two and a half years, [the people of Gaza] have been caged and ostracized by the whole world. The line of thinking that states that through war we will gain new allies in the Strip; that abusing the population and killing its sons will sear this into their consciousness; and that a military operation would suffice in toppling an entrenched regime and thus replace it with another one friendlier to us is no more than lunacy.

Hezbollah was not weakened as a result of the Second Lebanon War; to the contrary. Hamas will not be weakened due to the Gaza war; to the contrary. In a short time, after the parade of corpses and wounded ends, we will arrive at a fresh cease-fire, as occurred after Lebanon, exactly like the one that could have been forged without this superfluous war.

Keep in mind that this was in an Israeli newspaper. I can’t even imagine such a thing being uttered on CNN or written in the op-ed pages of the NY Times.

Blogger Spencer Ackerman thinks that Israel’s new campaign is highly counterproductive:

Instead, Israel is acting astrategically to Hamas’s provocations, isolating itself even further internationally, and driving the Palestinians of Gaza — and, who knows, maybe the West Bank — into the hands of Hamas, all in the service of unachievable military objectives and delivering unconscionable collective punishment to Palestine. The smartest thing Israel could do would be to stop the bombardment immediately before the temptation to re-invade becomes overwhelming and the 2006 Lebanon war repeats itself as farce.

Then there is blogger Ezra Klein, who I think is writing some of the best commentary on this mess (bold added by me):

There is nothing proportionate in this response. No way to fit it into a larger strategy that leads towards eventual peace. No way to fool ourselves into believing that it will reduce bloodshed and stop terrorist attacks. It is simple vengeance. There’s a saying in the Jewish community: “Israel, right or wrong.” But sometimes Israel is simply wrong.

I think Klein phrased it perfectly. Israel’s deadly strikes in Gaza aren’t a step toward peace. More precise attacks under a different set of historical circumstances might have worked, but not here and not now.

Flickr photo by Lubna T

One Comment

  1. Ian

    They can never win peace through war. Israel’s problem is that the munitions and funding of their enemies is coming from outside sources that they cannot control. This war only serves to bolster the support of those who would fund rocket attacks and suicide bombings. Hamas does more than just attack Israel, so saying you killed X number of Hamas doesn’t really translate to killing X soldiers. More importantly, the civilians Israel killed (60 last count I saw, certainly more by now) are inexcusable.

    The truth about the situation: There will never be lasting peace there. Never. Neither side truly wants it because neither side is willing to make the concessions necessary to have it. Fighting has become their way of life. Countries on the outside influence the fighting to make it continue. Arab countries help the Palestinians while western countries aid Israel and look the other way when they commit atrocities.