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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Open season on Palestinians

A few weeks ago it was Mariyah Amin and her family. The other day it was a Palestinian family on a beach. Today it's eight more civilians, including two children and three medical workers, and 32 others injured, some seriously. All of this a clear attempt by Israel to disrupt whatever shadow of a "peace process" might exist or ever hope to exist, and justify their plan (I was going to say unilateral plan, but it will turn out to be with the complete collaboration of the U.S. and E.U.) to annex Palestinian land and leave the remaining portions of the West Bank in a completely untenable state.

It's worth noting two things about the AP coverage I linked to above. The first is that, in the "old days," an occurance like this would at least be accompanied by some ritual, meaningless but still spoken, words of "regret" by the "U.S. administration." Those days are gone. If the U.S. does issue "regrets" (never "condemnations," of course) of Israeli actions like these, they don't do so forcefully enough for AP to even notice.

The second, and much more important, is what is missing from the AP coverage. Why were three medical workers killed? Why were so many civilians injured? It turns out to be much more than the usual Israeli practice of firing missiles into crowded streets. The reason why is revealed in the Ha'aretz coverage:

Palestinian witnesses said the second missile came two minutes after the first, after a crowd had begun to gather around the scene of the attack.
This is state terrorism, pure and simple.

Let me also note a difference between standard American practices in Iraq, and standard Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza. The Americans, as I have noted many times, routinely massacre civilians by bombing buildings in which they "suspect" (or even know) there are resistance fighters (oh, excuse me, "terrorists"), but without knowing or asking or caring who else might be inside. But, with some exceptions like the massacre of Fallujah in November, 2004, it isn't standard U.S. practice to drop bombs when they can actually see the civilians in their sights at the same time as their target. It is the Israeli practice. I say this not to exonerate in any way the standard American method, which I have previously labelled as a war crime, but to note how the even more heinous Israeli practice still continues to escape any serious condemnation by the so-called civilized world (including, it almost goes without saying, not only the U.S. administration but also most if not all prominent members of the so-called "opposition" party).

"Out Now!" doesn't just refer to the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. It's also an appropriate slogan for Israel. Israel should, must, withdraw from the West Bank, all of the West Bank, now, and they must not use that withdrawal, as they have in Gaza, as an opportunity to rain even more death and destruction on the Palestinian people.

Update: I'm not sure if I missed this earlier in the Ha'aretz article, or the article has been updated, but, just for the record:

The IDF's Operations Directorate head, Brigadier General Gadi Eisencott, confirmed Palestinian reports that the second missile struck a group of civilians that had gathered around the casualties of the first missile.
Ha'aretz also makes note of the location of this missile strike: "the heavily populated Zeitoun neighborhood."

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