“I categorically reject all the attempts to impugn the morality of the Israel Defense Forces,” said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, opening the cabinet session on Sunday.
“The Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world. It has never conducted a policy of harming civilians, and is not doing so today.”
Olmert, as a character says in Hester Street: “You can’t piss on my back and make me think it’s rain.”
He must be saying this for domestic consumption because if he thinks anyone in the world outside Israel buys the bullshit he’s peddling he’d be out of his mind. This blog is replete with specific examples of the IDF doing precisely what Olmert claims it has “never” done: callously ignoring the danger to innocent Palestinians from its operations whether they be targeted assassinations or artillery shelling in crowded urban areas like the Gaza beach where eight were killed last Friday.
As Brad Burston writes in today’s Haaretz:
Say the blood that is on our hands is not that of Ali Ghalia, the father of the family, his wife Ra’isa, four of his daughters, one aged 2, and his eight-month-old son
Say the blood is not that of Mohammed Dura, the 12-year-old boy killed early in the Intifada in a crossfire between Israelis and Palestinians.
For every Mohammed Dura, there have been hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians killed by the IDF in error, in conjunction with the killing of terrorists, or because overwhelming force and remote technology was applied in order to minimize the risk to Israeli troops.
he world cares nothing for them. And neither do we. Their tragedies are no less unbearable, surely no less unbearable than the hundreds of our own the world cares nothing for.
We can live with it, as we live with the idea of sending thousands and thousands of artillery shells into one of the most crowded districts on the planet, in order to try to hit three-man mobile crews firing a rocket not much bigger than a broom – the equivalent of going after a fly with a pile-driver.
We live with it because we Can’t Just Do Nothing, as if thousands of shells, many of them directed at open spaces calculated precisely to hit nothing, are the only possible alternative.
We can live with it, fundamentally, because we don’t know what else to do, and because the only thing left for us to believe, is that it’s wrong to negotiate.