Perspective: Collective Punishment in Sderot or Gaza?
- Perspective: Collective Punishment in Sderot or Gaza?As the tension builds in Gaza, so does the pressure build against Israel. "All that fuss over one soldier!" "Gazans are suffering collective punishment." Once again Israel is portrayed as a large and evil "occupying" power, though there are no Israeli soldiers occupying Gaza.
It is amazing how short the human memory is. The town of Sderot and its neighbors have been subjected to a growing blitz of ever more lethal Qassam rockets. Remember now? Air raids every day, rockets in kindergartens, rockets in schools, rockets near the home of the Minister of Defence. The rockets have killed 9 people already and they getting larger and more dangerous. An "improved" model fell inside the city of Ashqelon on June 29. Here is what the current Israeli action in Gaza is really about:
Qassam rockets that landed in the Western Negev by month:
12 Sep 2005
08 Oct 2005
04 Nov 2005
16 Dec 2005
00 Jan 2006
01 Feb 2006
49 Mar 2006
64 Apr 2006
46 May 2006
89 June 2006
The last four months have been hell for the people of Sderot. If 89 rockets fell on your town in a month, what would you expect your government to do? True, Israel has a tradition of "never leave anyone behind." To retrieve even body parts of our soldiers, Israel has traded dozens of prisoners, including dangerous ones. No such trades were ever made during a terrorist operation. Israel would never endanger the lives of so many of its soldiers, and of the captive, if this were only about returning Gilad Shalit. Everyone really knows that, including those who claim that Israel is inflicting "Collective Punishment" on the Palestinians of Gaza. Rumors of an impending Israeli invasion were circulating for quite a while before Gilad Shalit was abducted or "captured." It is interesting by the way, that the American soldier who was taken by insurgents in Iraq is referred to as "kidnapped," while non-Israeli media refer to Gilad Shalit as "captured" as though the Hamas gangsters are a legitimate army.
As for the misery of the people of Gaza, BBC conplained that Gazans await their bitter fate. However, Al-Quds Al-Arab newspaper of June 26 told the truth, not for Western ears and eyes:
Sources in Gaza Strip confirmed yesterday that there was...happiness in the ranks of the population, due to the quality operation carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Army of Islam which claimed the lives of two Israeli soldiers and two men from the resistance, and resulted in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.
Eyewitnesses said yesterday that joy was obvious on the faces of hundreds of people in Rafah, after they heard about the operation carried out by the Palestinian resistance They indicated that hundreds of people congratulated one another and some distributed sweets to the citizens to express their joy
"If your happy and you know it clap your hands." They love it when a plan comes together. Al Quds al Arabi also noted that the mother of one of the terrorists killed in the action said:
Today, I celebrate the wedding of my son with the most precious thing in life, Allah. People should come to congratulate me on the martyrdom of my son Muhamed. I offered what is dearest to my heart and God, I am completely satisfied and honest in what I am saying. He told me to forgive him.
(URL (Arabic): http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=2006\06\06-26\r005y.htm&storytitle=ff?????%20??????%20???????%20???%20?????%20????%20???%20???%20???????%20???)
In Israel there is no joy. We are not happy about the "capture" of Gilad Shalit, or the killing of five people in Sderot or or the murder of Eliyahu Asheri. We will not be happy as long as the murder and the violence continue. We are not happy about the pending reoccupation of Gaza, if that is what will happen, and we are not happy if the Palestinians must celebrate in darkness because their power transformerers were destroyed by the Israeli army. We do not want to spoil their celebrations. However if that is what must be done, it will be done.
Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook is second in command of the political Hamas leadership in Syrian exile. He is supposed to be a "mild" politician rather than a bloodthirsty general. He told Der Spiegel:
Israel Air Force chief Major General Eliezer Shkedy is a military man. He is suppsoed to be one of those evil Zionist warmongers that you hear about on the BBC who are inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians in Gaza. He told Jerusalem Post, somewhat to the dismay of hawkish Israelis:
If we know that [the terrorist] is holding his son's hand, we do not fire. Even if the terrorist is in the midst of firing a Kassam, and the Kassam is aimed to kill. We do not fire. You should know that. And that's a fearsome thing.
I'm very proud of what we do. I think it is unprecedented. I'm proud of our morals. I'm proud of our operational capabilities.
Ultimately our strength is not solely our military power. That's part of our strength. The strength of the Jewish people in the State of Israel and the Land of Israel is first and foremost our profound moral strength. Everything stems from that.
An informative contrast between the Hamas "politician" and the Israeli general. In case anyone thinks the Hamas way will win, here is the punchline of the interview with Shkedy:
Our deterrent capability, our existence? I intend for us to be here until the end of time.
Mr Marzook, take note.
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