The Washington Post reports that Israel pulled out of Gaza early Wednesday: “About 1,300 Palestinians were killed and the operation caused an estimated $2 billion in property damage to the already impoverished territory. Thirteen Israelis died during the offensive.”
Tom Dispatch writes: More than 1,400 dead Gazans (and rising as bodies are dug out of the rubble); 5,500 wounded; hundreds of children killed; 4,000 to 5,000 homes destroyed and 20,000 damaged — 14% of all buildings in Gaza; 50,000 or more homeless; 400,000 without water; 50 U.N. facilities, 21 medical facilities, 1,500 factories and workshops, and 20 mosques reportedly damaged or destroyed; the smashed schools and university structures; the obliterated government buildings; the estimated almost two billion dollars in damage; all taking place on a blockaded strip of land 25 miles long and 4 to 7.5 miles wide that is home to a staggering 1.4 million people.”
What a mess. No wonder Israel is so hated throughout the world.
In Bill Moyers’ judgment, Israel’s actions amount to “state terrorism.” In this post, I include powerful commentary by Moyers captured on You Tube. A person identified as “J Quinn” responded, “Tell me sir, what do you do when a rocket is fired at you?”
J Quinn’s premise, in his or her question, is that the Gazan War was all about Hamas firing rockets into Israel. But that premise, I believe, is wrong. Quinn’s question inspired me to review what I’ve already posted over the last several weeks about the Gazan War. My general conclusion is that the Gazan War was an unnecessary war and was initiated by Israel because of domestic politics. I feel that Israel deliberately used harsh, unreasonable and illegal tactics and that the US should have condemned Israel’s Gazan actions.
What follows is a review of some of my recent posts that brought me to these conclusions.
Pat Buchanan is not known for liberal, mush headed ideas. In this post, I reported, “Buchanan says that Gaza is like a concentration camp and that Hamas’ little rockets for six months didn’t kill anyone while Israel is now causing massive destruction and suffering. Buchanan also accuses Israel of using US tax dollars to build illegal settlements on the West Bank.”
What has amazed me is how people who should know better contribute to general misinformation about Gaza. In this article, Report On Gazan War — ABC News With George Stephanopoulos — Was A Shameful Disgrace, I report on an interview on that program with Shimon Peres and how two US senators, Dick Durbin and Mitch McConnell, disgraced themselves by going overboard in their total agreement with Peres. McConnell made this outrageous propaganda statement, in line with J Quinn’s question: “Imagine in this country if somebody from a neighboring country were lobbing shells at our population. We’d do exactly the same thing. I think the Israelis are doing the only thing they can possibly do to defend their population.”
It seems incredible that a US senator would suggest that the US would do the same as Israel has done. It seems incredible that a US senator would excuse Israel’s use of phosphorous, its bombing of homes, schools and mosques, its targeting leaders for assassination, its massive “collateral damage” killing more than 400 children. And it seems incredible that a US senator would suggest that Gaza is simply another country boardering Israel, ignoring Israel’s responsibility in creating the situation there.
In this post I report on an article by Marjorie Cohn, “Israel’s Collective Punishment of Gaza.” Cohn says the Gazan War is all about Israel’s coming elections. She writes: “Israel’s airstrikes and ground assault on the people of Gaza have little to do with the Gazan rockets, which hadn’t killed any Israelis for a year before Israel’s current military operation. Israel’s leaders are bombing and attacking Gaza in order to gain an advantage in the upcoming Israeli elections in February.
I have a lot of respect for Jimmy Carter. In this article I report, Jimmy Carter Says Gazan War Was Not Necessary: Jimmy Carter, writing in the Washington Post, says, that, based on his personal I involvement, ‘the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.’ Carter blames Israel for breaking a “fragile truce”
I have a lot of respect for Dennis Kucinich. I posted two articles showing Kucinich’s views on the Gazan War:
In Kucinich Says Israel’s Attack On Gazan Civilians, Using US Made Weapons, Violates US Law, I write, “Congressman Dennis Kucinich is requesting that Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, investigate whether Israel is in violation of a 1976 law that defines the proper use of US made weapons. Kucinich points out that US made F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters were used in an attack of a U.N. School where over 40 Palestinians, women and children, were killed while seeking shelter.”
And this post, Congressman Kucinich Condemns Israeli Attack On Gaza As Violating Geneva Conventions, shows the letter that Kucinich wrote to the U.N. Secretary General. Kucinich wrote: “The attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better … Civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel’s actions.”
Of course, a lot of politicians disagree with Kucinich. Evidently, it is considered the smart thing, politically, to do. But it is difficult to believe that a smart man like Newt Gingich really believes his own words. I post here that “Newt Gingrich Compares Hamas To Nazis, Suggests There Should Be No Limit To Israel’s Violence In Gaza.” I write, “Newt Gingich, on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday program, compared Hamas to the Third Reich, and said that like the Third Reich, Hamas has completely forfeited its right to exist. … To compare Hamas to the Nazi regime is amazing. But if you are willing to think of Hamas in Nazi terms — a urgent, demonic and horrible threat — certainly it is a small step to conclude that Israel is well justified to rain down unspeakable violence on Gaza. It is easy to conclude that Israel is justified to kill over 900 fellow humans, including 300 children, entire families; justified to destroy mosques, schools, homes.