Monday, November 19, 2012


 Palestinian men gather around a crater caused by an Israeli airstrike at a home in Gaza City - CNN photo-11-18-12
The figures as of today:  > 90 Palestinians dead, 3 Israelis.

As war once again heats up between Israel, and Gaza, a tiny sliver of land on southern border that they ceded back to Palestinians in 2005, it seems the inaccurate rockets of Hamas, and pinpoint lethal Israeli air-force executions, are again stoking the fires of hatred.  The lines have hardened since Israel’s previous “Operation Cast Lead,” and five years of embargo are making things more desperate in Gaza.  Israel wants rocket attacks from there to halt.

The residents of Gaza want the embargo, and extrajuridicial executions of their leaders to stop.  This recent escalation of violence stems from an October 24th rockets skirmish in which 4 Palestinians died, and then more rockets--followed Nov. 14th by Israel’s air-attack assassination of Hamas Military Commander, Ahmed al-Jabari.

There have been sometimes thousands, and mostly hundreds of rockets launched from Gaza each year.  They appear to have not much more direction than fireworks launch tubes.  From the Israeli Defense Force blog site we have 44 Israelis killed by these in the past 6 years. Comparatively--“Israel's three-week ground war [‘Cast Lead’] against Hamas in 2009 left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead, and destroyed entire villages and much of Gaza's infrastructure. Israel's image tanked internationally as it fended off war-crimes accusations.” And the Israeli computer guided missiles shot from attack airships almost always get their man.

srael disregards international law and cheapens respect for life when it takes 100 or 10  Palestinian lives, for one of its own.  This has been the pattern since at least the first Intifada.  I wrote against its political assassination method in 2008.  I’d already been writing Amnesty International “urgent action” letters to dictators across the globe for years, protesting this illegal extrajuridicial executions tactic.  Two Wall Street Journal editors answered my email submission [first and last time they’ve given my many letters personal response].   There was interest, but it was not published.  Here it is.  That time another Palestinian political target died—but still no end in sight to the violence.

Dear Editor Timothy Lemmers, Wall Street Journal,         Feb. 24, 2008
In your Valentine's Day 2008 editorial "Dead in Damascus" you list some horrific crimes attributed to Imad Mughniyeh--and then congratulate the Mossad as his probable executioners, only lamenting that it should have been the CIA. I'm old enough to have seen Adolf Eichmann on TV at his trial* in Israel for his crimes against humanity. His were more heinous than Mr. Mughniyeh's, yet Israel captured him, and brought him to trial, before exacting judgment. Our societies have suffered a tragic loss of decency and due process since that time.

Now you trumpet this simultaneous arrest/trial/execution by car bomb in the streets of Damascus as "an unambiguous victory." Not for the rule of law. This counter-terrorist behavior is against international law. It mimics the behavior of the terrorists themselves. Mr. Mughniyeh obviously did not act alone. Such extrajuridicial executions only confirm to his confederates that surprise killings are the effective way to address grievances. Fighting fire with fire is incendiary policy. We play with fire in attempt to have two wrongs make a right. In the end everyone gets burned again and again and again. Lets get back to the golden rule found in scripture, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Yours truly,    -- Michael McCarthy, Port Huron, MI

s part of and preceding the current crisis, Israel’s leader Netanyahu has stonewalled negotiations in general with Palestinians, marching on with settlements construction in the West Bank, and ignoring international and national court injunctions against the wall Israel is unilaterally erecting between Israeli and Palestinian communities.  Resuming assassinations of Palestinian leaders, and a pending second invasion of the Gaza strip, are part of this hard-line strategy that believes in war as the natural way to solve the ancient land, water, and oil conflicts of the Middle East.  This belief is shared by some of Hamas surely, those who vow destruction of Israel.

The U.S. backs the strongman, Israel, in the struggle, with billions of dollars annually in military aid.  But there is no solution other than a “two state” solution.  The rights and lives of both peoples must be equally respected.  Bring back Arab Spring, and get Israel’s leadership and Hamas involved in the nonviolence.  And may the U.S. lay aside also its illegal killer drones—we are all polluted by premeditated murder.

Historical problem of the "two state solution"
Gaza is the middle strip on the ocean in the 2 rightmost frames
Illuminations by Kathy Brahney
* The Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote of Eichmann—Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
Recent Gaza events--articles

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