Sunday, January 18, 2009

'There are witnesses'

Self-Deception and the Assault on Gaza
David Bromwich, The Huffington Post: What prompts the fantasy that you can 'kill all the terrorists' without sowing the seeds of new terrorism? Partly, the fantasy comes from the idea that any civilian deaths you cause will be forgiven; but, much more, it derives from the secondary fantasy that civilian deaths will go mainly unwitnessed. They will be recorded as numbers, perhaps, but they will pass out of the awareness of the world. That is not the way things work, of course. There are people in the world -- not hundreds, not thousands, but hundreds of millions -- who feel more closely allied to the killed than they do to the killers...

If nobody existed on earth except Israel and the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, the way would lie open now for the fulfillment of the doctrine. Israel could finish the job begun in 1948: the job of expulsion, the forced transportation elsewhere of the Palestinian people as a whole. But again, the problem recurs: the world is larger than Israel and Gaza. There are witnesses.

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian: The bombing of urban infrastructure is an act of terror... If Israel fails to win its political objectives in Gaza, it will in part be because of its massively destructive attempt to terrify the Palestinians into surrender from the air. Every errant missile explodes on the television screens of the world. In the complex politics of war, these weapons are like torture. They numb moral sensibility and do harm beyond all justification of victory.

Leila Elias, The Morning Call: They say silence is golden. Today we see that silence now is heavy, leaden proof that Palestinians are non-human entities. The silence of world governments is the evidence. The grossly disproportional use of force by Israel in densely populated Gaza ignites little or no response from the powers of the world. Pictures of death and destruction -- mosques, a university, a police station, fishing boats, the fish market, the bodies and body parts being pulled from demolished homes and buildings, mothers screaming for their children, brothers searching for their sisters, a baby reaching for her dead mother under the rubble of a bombed house -- have dented the conscience of only a few... We wonder how we allow ourselves to watch the obliteration and annihilation of a people?
Image: al-Quds hospital; source here.