Saturday, December 27, 2008

Israel strikes Gaza

This morning's news:

"Israeli aircraft attacked police and security installations across the Gaza Strip, killing scores of people in the deadliest raid since the occupation of the coastal region ended in 2005, security and medical officials said.

As many as 200 people were killed and 750 injured, including women and children, Mu’awia Hassanien, a Palestinian medical-services official in Gaza, said today. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, called the air strike a massacre and said it would retaliate. At least 30 rockets were fired from Gaza today, Israel Radio reported, killing a woman in Netivot. "

In expectation of the media's usual expostulations:

"Hamas, and its supporters in the West, can have no complaints about the unfolding Israeli operation. They have repeatedly declared their lack of interest in extending the recently expired ceasefire and their determination to keep on attacking Israel with all the means at their disposal. Indeed, this morning’s air attacks are a sign that Jerusalem views them with the respect and seriousness that parties to armed conflict always owe to their most challenging adversaries.

It’s possible that Hamas’s leaders had started to believe their own propaganda about their organization’s strength and Israel’s moral weakness, and think that they had achieved a level of strategic deterrence such as that which prevails between Israel and Hezbollah. If this was the case, then it’s good that the process of disabusing them of these beliefs has begun before they had a chance to make them a reality. While the vulnerability of Israel to mass rocket attacks against its civilian population and the concomitant restraints on its freedom of action was indeed demonstrated by the Second Lebanon War, the same conflict also demonstrated the foolishness of allowing enemies just over the border to acquire such an arsenal and the infrastructure to support it."


And here is the usual fare from "alternative" sources:

The US media would like to paint a picture of precise surgical strikes aimed only at Hamas. This is impossible in Gaza, the most densely populated place on Earth. Even the IDF concedes as much: "The IDF emphasized that civilians located in areas whence Palestinians launch rockets and who quarter Hamas operatives in their homes are liable to be hurt. The targets that were hit included training camps and installations as well as police stations, some of whom were located in civilian buildings." Writing in Ha'aretz, Amos Harel also presents an alternative view: "However the Israeli opening salvo is not merely another "surgical" operation or pinpoint strike. This is the harshest IDF assault on Gaza since the territory was captured during the Six-Day War in 1967."
How does a writer reporting and opining about this latest attack on
Gaza manage to present it as sheer Israeli brutality, fire raining down on poor starving Palestinians out of nowhere?

There is a tactical scheme to an alternative news reviewer:

- he describes the awful gore of injury and death in the most graphic detail,

- he then resorts to tagging a term on these graphic pictures (massacres, unspeakable atrocities, crimes against humanity, etc)

and most importantly,

- he meticulously excises any reference to what had brought on this attack. Thus we are unlikely to be reminded that

"From January 1 until December 21, Hamas and its allies had launched exactly 1,250 rockets across the border between Gaza and Israel."

and that:

"over 80 Qassam missiles were fired into Israeli towns on Wednesday" alone, or that this has been an on-going policy by Hamas even while a nominal ceasefire was being observed.

So Hamas got the bloody confrontation it was angling for, and
Israel, once again, is seen as the bully of the Middle East

So what else is new?


Update: From Solomonia

And this: Herewith the first in a two-part guide to the 10 most gratuitous, least productive, most resolutely ingenuous claims likely to be hurled in an effort to attack Israel.

Update: From the Augean Stables


At 5:52 PM EST, Blogger Progressive Pinhead said...

The rocket attacks are horrible, but they hardly justify this reaction. In fact this attack has brought on increased rocket attacks. Israel has killed over 220 Palestinians in one day, that's seven times the number of Israelis killed in this conflict in the last year. Neither Hamas nor Israel has the moral high ground here, they both deserve nothing but condemnation for their barbaric and cowardly actions. The only victims are the innocent civilians killed in this violence.

At 7:32 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if the Israelis should just take being attacked daily with heavy munitions of war, as just a reality of living near Muslims....anybody who lives near groups of them must adjust to this reality. LOL!

PS - You dont know who was killed in the attacks, could be some very nasty characters were killed. Your assumption marks you out as a lazy thinker at best, more likely a well intentioned fool....but those are even more dangerous than lazy thinkers.

At 8:15 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Israeli sources report some 15 civilian casualties, and nearly 200 Hamas "militants".

"The first wave of air strikes was launched by 60 warplanes, which hit a total of 50 targets in one fell swoop. The IAF deployed approximately 100 bombs, with an estimated 95 percent reaching their intended targets. Most of the casualties were Hamas operatives."

"Immediately following the first wave, some 20 IAF aircraft struck 50 Palestinian rocket launchers in an effort to minimize Hamas' retaliatory strikes.

The IDF emphasized that civilians located in areas whence Palestinians launch rockets and who quarter Hamas operatives in their homes are liable to be hurt."

At 9:14 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"The Israeli Air Force on Saturday launched a massive attack on Hamas targets throughout Gaza in retaliation for the recent heavy rocket fire from the area, hitting mostly security headquarters, training compounds and weapons storage facilities, the Israeli military and witnesses said.

Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, the head of emergency services at the Gaza Ministry of Health, said at least 140 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

Most were members of the security forces of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, but a few civilians were also among the dead, including children. Scores more Palestinians were wounded."

At 9:38 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I feel if this was a Palestinian attack on Israel, and that every other factor were the same, you rabid bigots would be the first condemning this "Muslim" outrage.

At 5:15 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youve got that bigoted gut feeling, heh?


At 9:30 AM EST, Blogger Progressive Pinhead said...

The human rights organization B'Tselem on Monday said in a statement that more than half of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip in Israel Defense Forces operations in recent days did not take an active part in the fighting

At 9:31 AM EST, Blogger Progressive Pinhead said...

At 10:20 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

It is interesting to note B'Tselem's careful formulation:

"more than half of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip in Israel Defense Forces operations in recent days did not take an active part in the fighting."

How does a young activist interpret this statement?

At 12:46 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world would be a much better place, if Jews numbered 1.5 billion and were the majority population from West Africa to Indonesia, and Muslims numbered 20 millioin or so and were the majority in only one country Palestine(or the area of Mecca and Medina their holiest of places, whatever), which was created by the British and the UN. My guess is that the surrounding Jewish nations would seek a peaceful co-existence with them, accept any Jewish refugees from the area and integrate them into their own societies to prosper, and not support a guerilla terrorist war against the Muslim state for decades and centuries.

Were that the situation were reversed. This bigot would for one be very pleased.


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