The rocket attacks were undoubtedly "deeply disturbing" to Israelis. But so too are the checkpoints, the road closures, the restricted movement, the terrible joblessness, the unflinching oppression, the daily humiliations, the illegal settlement -- I'm sorry, "outpost" -- construction, "deeply disturbing" to the Palestinians, and far more injurious. And the 300 dead Palestinians should be disturbing to us all.
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, of course, don't draw that conclusion. In fact, I think the commenter of 12/28 5:33 pm on Klein's piece is exceedingly brilliant, perceptive, and most of all, correct:
Joblessness in Palestine is Israel's problem? Checkpoints and border crossings between Gaza and Israel are Israel's problem? What "unflinching oppression" and "daily humiliations" is Israel imposing in the Palestinian territories?Why would anyone accept this concept of proportionate response? Militarily, that's as stupid a concept as you can create. The objective of any military operation is to win, and history shows that overwhelming your enemy is often a successful tactic. Proportionate? Only idiots and diplomats believe in that kind of crap, but I repeat myself.
They wanted their own country. Now they have it. And such a great job they've done with it.
Your bias is showing, Ezra. You shouldn't try to justify the launching of rockets as "potshots". Some might call such potshots "terrorism" or "attempted murder".
Why do lefties side with terrorists against democratic states including Israel? Why do they always try to make excuses for, and even justify, the indefensible? Israel "forces" Hamas to launch rockets into Israel? What reality do these lefties inhabit?
Update, 12/29/08: A Reverend Wright tie-in:
Those who inaugurate war must be prepared to accept the consequences. Hamas decided to begin bombarding Israel, and continued that bombardment despite warnings. Surely Hamas has no right to complain of the predictable consequences.Update #2, 1/2/09: From the Washington Post:
Beyond that, it is rather odd of Greenwald to speak of "innocent" Palestinians. Did not the Palestinian people themselves elect Hamas by a landslide majority? And haven't the Palestinians overwhelmingly supported every atrocity of this Islamicist fanatic group?
I would remind Glenn Greenwald of the words of Barack Obama's spiritual mentor, who declared that the 9/11 attacks represented "chickens coming home to roost" for America. Is it not possible, by the same standard, to see the Israeli attacks on Gaza as "chickens coming home to roost" for the Palestinians?
Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.