The madness continues. Ehud Olmert and his generals have made the ultimate decision to enter Gaza City, the most densely populated portion of the territory of Gaza where a considerable portion of its 1.5 million residents live. Thousands of civilians are fleeing their homes under sustained, ferocious bombardment. The AP gives you a small sense of the insanity:
Israeli troops backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns thrust further into the city than ever before to seek out Hamas fighters, executing the army’s most relentless shelling of the Gaza Strip in nearly three weeks of fighting.
Live video footage from a Reuters camera in central Gaza showed sustained artillery fire from the edge of the city for several hours. Shells exploded in downtown areas and long machinegun bursts echoed off Gaza’s cramped housing blocks.
Much of the fighting was centred in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, where some residents fled on foot while others remained in the precarious shelter of their homes as a night-time attack stretched into the morning.
Tanks and bulldozers rolled into a neighborhood park, apparently seizing it as a kind of command center, witnesses said. Masked gunmen ran toward the areas under fire carrying bags containing unidentified objects.
Residents were seen fleeing their homes in pajamas, some wheeling elderly parents in wheelechairs. Others were stopping journalists’ armored cars or ambulances pleading for someone to take them to safety.
Israeli forces have encircled the city of 500,000 people for days.
The Gazan death toll is 1.024. The Palestine Human Rights Center estimates that 670 of the dead were civilians, a far higher percentage of the dead than previously reported by the N.Y. Times and other media outlets. I’d guess that the Times 25% claim is grossly understated. And of course, fighting among civilians will dramatically raise the civilian death count.
God help them.
What ever the blow back from this we deserve it.
Does Israel have the “right to exist”….do we? No, not any longer. The world should destroy us, we have become monsters.
Richard Silverstein says
I agree with Warren. Israel’s grave injustice does not justify doing to it what it is doing to the Palestinians. To have justice, we must not kill off any nation. We must get both to live together w/o killing ea. other hard as that may be to achieve.
While I maybe have a sense of the fraught emotional space Julia must be writing from as an Israeli with a conscience looking at these pictures, I cannot support her comment. Just because Israel is acting despicably & criminally certainly does NOT mean the country should be ‘destroyed’. Israel does have a right to exist. It doesn’t have a right to starve, maim & murder Palestinians, which is what it is currently doing (or control their lives and freedom of movement for that matter).
Anyway, I take it you’re writing from a place of emotion more than reason, reacting to the horrible suffering being inflicted on the Palestinians of Gaza. What I would support as an American would be for my country to cease ALL aid (except humanitarian supplies) to Israel and to, along with the international community, impose economic sanctions on Israel as were imposed on South Africa in the ’80’s. As former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said in his book, the treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since ’67 is even worse than Apartheid was in South Africa. Of course with our bought and bullied (and utterly spineless) Congress and Executive branch, this won’t happen anytime soon, but Americans of conscience can work in that direction. I’m sure that Jim Crow seemed formidable and insurmountable in its day, but progressive Americans nevertheless pushed and perservered for change.
What a load of baloney. Richard, would you say that about the Nazis?
Should we have just gotten along with the Nazis?
I hate to Godwin the debate but this is absurd.
We apply a different standard towards Israel because it is a JEWISH State.
How is Zionism any different from other forms of radical nationalism? Why don’t people speak out against this OVERT attempt to maintain the Jewish majority in the State of Israel? Killing Palestinians and trapping them in bantustans.
Why do people blame Hamas for fighting back? Why do we even bring up terrorism? Last time I checked, ISRAEL is occupying Palestine. ISRAEL is stealing Palestinian resources and land.
Why the double standard?
Zionism needs to be destroyed just like radical German nationalism had to be destroyed. Just like American imperialism needs to be destroyed.
You don’t reason with tyranny. You eradicate it.
Marilyn Shepherd says
I agree, Not to wipe out jews, but to wipe out the lunatics running the joint. Even the brutal and hawkish Avi Sharit is now stating that invading Gaza is a brutal insanity.
What restores ones faith in the fact the Israel could be different are people like Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, Uri Avnery, Jeff Halper and many, many others like the brilliant and dedicated women in black and Machom who try to get the check points dismantled and have people treated fairly.
I even found a site where the people of Sderot gathered blankets, food and goods for the friends they had made in Gaza.
No one can ever say of another group of people “I hate them all, kill them” because we are then reduced to un people ourselves.
The only way to make sense of Israel’s senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders”. I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel’s vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration’s complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.
But it is hard to argue with Ernest Bevin’s assessment from 60 years ago isn’t it?