Jack A. Smith :
Israel bombs Gaza civilians. Again.

In 2008-2009, Israel virtually crushed the tiny territory and its 1.7 million inhabitants, killing 1,400 Palestinians, while losing only 10 Israeli soldiers.

israel palestine 2008

Israeli border officer  fires a tear-gas canister at Palestinians protesting an Israeli missile strike on Gaza in 2008. Photo by Muhammed Muheisen / AP.

By Jack A. Smith | The Rag Blog | July 16, 2014

Once again, Israel has found a pretext to viciously bomb Gaza. The UN wants the bombing to end, deploring that 80% of the 200 Palestinians who have been killed so far have been civilian women, children, and men.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing settler government, claims Israel acted in “self-defense” after three Israeli young men were allegdedly murdered by Hamas, the elected government in Gaza. He then declared Hamas launched an unprovoked rocket barrage. Israel therefore had no choice.

We have heard this before, most recently in late 2008 and early 2009 when Israel virtually crushed the tiny territory and its 1.7 million inhabitants, killing 1,400 Palestinians. Ten Israeli soldiers died, half from friendly fire. The same story was told in 2012. There are many good reasons to question Israel’s justifications for its current violence in Gaza, just as there were in its earlier episodes.

1. First, there has been no evidence as to who killed the three Israelis. The Hamas government may not have been involved. Some other group or an individual acting without any authorization from Hamas may have committed this crime.

2. Second, between the three deaths and the rocket firing several days later, there was Israeli violence, mass imprisonments, house burnings and other outrageous repression. These are the reasons Hamas says it fired rockets two years after a 2012 cease-fire agreement with Israel. Hamas also argues Israel has reneged on several other earlier commitments, such as allowing the territory’s inhabitants the freedom to trade, travel, and rebuild a shattered infrastructure.

3. Third, the principal motive for launching an illegal war mainly against civilians was neither the deaths nor the rockets. The Israeli regime’s main purpose was to destroy the impact of the extremely important new unity between the political leaderships of the occupied Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza. Such unity, after years of separation, would have generated a more formidable Palestinian and international opposition to Netanyahu, the leading antagonist to a two-state solution.

There is much more to say on the subject — and it is said well in several articles I have posted at the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter as part of a feature, “The Truth about Gaza.”

[Jack A. Smith was editor of the Guardian — for decades the nation’s preeminent leftist newsweekly — that closed shop in 1992. Smith now edits the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter.]

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3 Responses to Jack A. Smith :
Israel bombs Gaza civilians. Again.

  1. Extremist2theDHS says:

    In no way conceivable did Israel “crush” Gaza in 208/9. With the number of missile and bomb sorties that were executed, the death toll in Gaza would have been in the 10,000’s if Israel had not exercised great restraint and concern for civilian populations.

    The “The Truth about Gaza” is that when your supposed peace partner is sworn to destroy you and actively seeks that end, the only reasonable response IS to crush them. I do wish that Israel would once and for all crush Hamas. Restraint be damned. If the cost is tens of thousands of lives and thousands of structures, so be it.Shocker, sworn enemies cannot be talked out of hatred and violence. Once the people and governments (there are more than one) and military structures (there are more than one) of Gaza understand without reservation that trying to destroy Israel will pour pain, fire and massive and certain death down upon themselves, then perhaps they will find other goals to pursue.

    – Proud to be an Extremist2TheDHS

  2. Ian Monoe says:

    The IDF doesn’t act on evidence, merely excuses. When you’ve got all the firepower and cash on your side, International Law is a letter to Santa Claus, human rights are a joke and people in your way are gnats at a picnic. The Poles and Jews found this out in Warsaw in 1939.

  3. anonymous says:

    Where is the good sense in this conflict? What military or political purpose is achieved — with either the rockets or the retaliations?

    Israel is being wildly disproportionate in its retaliations — 100 times Arab death for each Jew, not having anything to do with the rockets themselves.

    The disproportion in deaths will shrink with the ground incursion, but how does that deter Arab aggression, losing your soldiers on the ground in Gaza? If its death for death’s sake, just stand back and lob bombs.

    Do the rockets make sense? They get Jewish Israelis to cower and hide, sure. But being unguided, they haven’t killed a single Israeli. They haven’t conquered any territory for a Palestinian ‘liberated state.’ And anyone can see they CAN’T.

    It’s pathetic, a ridiculous military strategy on Hamas’ part– inviting more atrocities to be visited upon Gazan civil population, meanwhile accomplishing absolutely nothing.

    The rockets make any negotiated peace treaty impossible. Israel won’t agree to anything that allows rocket attacks to continue without any response or repression.

    A check-mate amongst idiots.

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