Last night, I watched Tsipi Livni explaining to an ABC correspondent that Israel would not show restraint in pursuit of Hamas. I was hoping for Matt Brown to seek elucidation – does that mean that the deaths of all Palestinian civilians would not serve as a restraint on Israel’s actions? the deaths of all Egyptian civilians near the border as Hamas retreats? the war with Egypyt and other Middle Eastern Countries as Egypt protects its own citizens?
Surely any civilised country, a part of an international community, would accept that restraint in military action is something that makes you a civilized country and makes you part of the community with full rights. Not Israel, apparently; it will show “no restraint”. It wants the rights without the attendent responsibilities of being part of a community.
Further remarks about not possessing calculations on civilian casualties also seemed interesting. Does Israel lack the empathy to say that 1 (or 2 or 3 or… or 800 or…) civilian deaths in Gaza will provoke a reaction? that there is a political price attached to dead civilians? that the more deaths there are, the more that Israel will be condemned?
It’s like Israel has utterly negated the value of civilian life in Gaza. ‘If we kill them all, that is not something that is too high a price. In fact it is not something that we can place a value on, compared to the safety of Israeli citizens.’ This is pure solipsism at work.
Nothing matters to Israel outside the same safe existence of the state; not the thousands involuntarily displaced from their lands at the creation of Israel; not the thousands suffering now in Gaza. Israel exists in a vacuum separate from everyone else, where it doesn’t try and get along with countries that purport to border it; no-one else has ever suffered genocide like the original Jewish settlers; the land it lives on was ‘terra nullius’; nothing will stand in the way of the comfort and safety of the settlers who can continue to expand into new territory that is theirs for the taking. It’s the primitive belief that people who don’t talk your language, who dress differently, who eat non-kosher food, who don’t worship your gods, are not ‘people’. An atavistic attitude that shouldn’t exist but which the hard-line Jews exhibit in spades.
Israel does not believe that common standards of community decency on the equivalent value of human life, no matter which people, apply to it. It does not recognise the validity of judgements by the international community. It should be forced to. Sanctions should be applied to force it to realise that it is not above the law and not more important than any other county, and international troops should be in Gaza to enforce a peace.
The international community created the problem after World War 2 by shoving aside Palestinians to make room for the state of Israel. The international community should immediately go in and mandate an opening of borders to allow full flow of aid and food and civilians in Gaza and The West Bank. Hamas militants and Jewish hard-liners should both be treated as the terrorists they are and an equitable solution for Palestine and Israel should be created by the international community and applied by international force.
Israel should be no more than a humble petitioner to the community, with no more power than the nascent state of Palestine. Until it plays fair with its neighbours and until they accept it as a neighbour state that acts neighbourly, the whole area should be an UN protectorate; the IDF and Hamas military and the Fatah military all disbanded.