Is it possible that Israeli politics is in a state of psychosis? There are arguments against this claim, of course. Unlike most pathologies this one seems to be contagious throughout the Western world. Consider, though, the following aspects of the condition.
Every time Israel attacks its neighbours, Binyamin Netyanhu, Mark Regev or some other polished ghoul tells the BBC that the Palestinians, or Lebanese, or Syrians had it coming. Necessary self defence, no nation in the world would stand for this, so on and so forth. The usual and correct reply to this is to remind people that the clock did not start ticking with whatever incident Israel picks as its excuse.
It is simply a lie, however, to say that the current butchery is self defence against Hamas rocket attacks. If you disagree please identify the particular attack that has prompted Israel to kill 400 people in 4 days. Hamas and Israel agreed a six month ceasefire that has just expired. Throughout that period Israel kept the people of Gaza under blockade that has left them near starvation. On the 21st of December Israel killed, according to Reuters, a "Gaza militant" - to which act Qassam rockets were fired in response. The following day a Hamas spokesman announced that the movement was ready to make a new agreement with Israel and observed a 24 hour ceasefire (two homemade rockets were fired and they didn't hit anyone). The Israeli offensive was discussed in the Israeli media throughout the preceding week, including a comment in Ha'aretz by a military spokesperson who said the attack would begin 'soon'. True to his word, in this at least. The winter war in Gaza, like the summer offensive on Lebanon, is a premeditated attack not the 'disproportionate response' of liberal myth.
Not only does Zionism reserve for Jews the right to return to historic Palestine, the right to build freely and the right to travel without let in that land ; it even denies Palestinians the right to fear. One is constantly struck by the disproportion between the statistics that Israeli spokespeople sputter and the carnage that appears on the monitors behind them. There are, we are told, 10% of Israelis are living in fear . They are afraid of homemade Qassam rockets, which have killed 17 Israelis in the past 7 years. Israel has killed almost 400 Palestinians in a few days. As a pro-Israeli lobbyist puts it ' the numbers are not very flattering'.
One and a half million Gazans have lived in daily fear of sickness because their hospitals have been denied supplies, of darkness because their electricity has been cut off, of hunger because the bakers are without flour and the shops are without food. Now they live in fear that the fourth most powerful military might blow them up as they cower and shiver. That's where the 150 rockets fired on Sderot (Israeli spokespeople also seem to believe that if they recite a figure and add the word 'Iran' their audience will lose its reason) and its surroundings come from. Any nation in the world would do the same, no?
Impaired Learning Response
My regular reader will recall my writing similar posts about the 2006 war on Lebanon. The Israeli establishment seems to have learned nothing from that episode. Barak, Olmert and Lipni may be praised in the bourgeois press for their admittedly keen sense of timing, but they seem without a strategy of any kind. Mahmoud Abbas must face an election very soon. Does anyone think that his disgraceful comments will win votes? Ah, but forgive my naivete. Elections are for real people. If Palestinians elect the wrong person just bomb the hell out of them until, at some never realised point in the future, they give up. Why change the pathology of a lifetime?