On Gaza

Israel’s siege of Gaza, which began on November 5 with the blocking of food, medicine, fuel, animal feed, supplies, and other basic necessities to the Palestinian population, and which culminated on December 27 with the bombing and ground assaults that killed more than 510 people and injured as many as 2500 others, is the largest military action against Palestinians since 1967.  Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza have killed 4 people in Israel.

When I think about all those who have died (like the five daughters of the Balousha family, Tahir Balousha, 17; Ikram Balousha, 14; Samar Balousha, 12; Dina Balousha, 8; and Jawaher Balousha, 4, all of whom were killed by an Israeli bomb that fell on the mosque next door to their house) I feel that our collective humanity is diminished.  This war is a crime.

It is also the biggest gift Israel could have given to Hamas.  Hamas will now almost certainly gather more support among the survivors, a fact that is unlikely to make a political solution to the conflict any easier. Iran will also seek to capitalize on the fact that the Arab League buffoons implicitly or explicitly condoned the strikes.

While the Palestinians were being bombed, Mahmoud Abbas (who only fifteen years ago would have been labeled a terrorist because of his membership in Fatah, but who is considered an acceptable partner now that Hamas is around) was sipping coffee with his good friends, the Saudi princes.  In fifteen years, Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh will be sipping coffee with someone else while Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, and the other Israeli leaders who support this illegal occupation bemoan the lack of a real partner in peace.  And so it goes.

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