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As Gaza dust settles, questions of morality and justice arise

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:23 AM
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As Gaza dust settles, questions of morality and justice arise
"We are witnessing a moral corrosion that is destroying everything at a fantastic pace," said Michael Sfard, a human-rights lawyer in Tel Aviv. "We've reached a threshold of insensitivity that we had never reached in the past."

The offensive "on Gaza may be squeezing Hamas, but it is destroying Israel," Ari Shavit wrote in the left-leaning Haaretz in the days before Operation Cast Lead ended. "Destroying its soul and its image. Destroying it on world television screens, in the living rooms of the international community and most importantly, in < Barack> Obama's America."

"Wars must be just and proportional. Without being just, Israel cannot triumph on the battlefield."

Hamas' incessant rocket attacks and its refusal to renew a six-month cease-fire in early December allowed Israel to dwell less on second-guessing the consequences of the military operation. Even as its troops withdrew last week, Israel echoed with resolve over what was hailed as a just mission in an endless conflict punctuated by air raid sirens and suicide bombers.

Suggestions that Israeli forces may have committed human-rights violations have led to new government restrictions on soldiers.

To prevent military officers from being named in potential war crimes or human-rights lawsuits, the government will allow officers to be interviewed on TV only if their names are withheld and their faces blurred.

"The government will stand like a fortified wall to protect each and every one of you from allegations of disrupting the moral ," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly told his military officers and commanders. "If such a disruption exists, it is actually what is being directed against us: For seven years the world was against rocket fire on Israel, but didn't lift a finger."

More than previous Mideast military campaigns, and the round-the-clock public relations efforts, this one was accentuated by technology. Palestinians with cell phone cameras documented bomb blasts and surrender flags; Israeli Defense Forces soldiers were ordered to film firefights as evidence to later rebut any war crimes charges.

"I think the feeling of many Israelis is that Gaza's behind a wall and it's not my responsibility," said Haim Yacobi, a member of Planners for Planning Rights, a group of engineers and architects promoting human rights. "It's the politics of fear. Israeli politicians are using it as a very effective mechanism. It has to do with the dehumanization of Palestinians in Gaza."

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liberalmuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:31 AM
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1. When I read about the ceasefire the other day...
then saw the pictures of Gaza, I let out a sick, incredulous laugh. Jesus Christ. Calling a ceasefire after you bomb the living shit out of a city and turn it into rubble. This whole thing makes me sick. It's like it was planned. The Zionist part of Israel: 'Hey, you're getting a new President who may not be so quick to rubberstamp our incursions into the territories. Let's bomb the shit out of Gaza so it takes them years to recover.' Bush: 'Sounds good to me (stupid giggle).'
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:29 PM
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2. You saw some pictures of Gaza.
It's not much different from Beirut. Late in the game, one NYT article all but said the city was levelled and reduced to rubble, while another was about how Beirutis were surviving. The one article showed destruction and death. The other showed the inside of a coffee house, where the customers were watching tv, and through the windows you could see life going on outside.

A week after the Israelis stopped bombing Beirut, I ordered some books from two booksellers there. Their Internet connections worked fine; their stores were in perfect shape, and when they didn't have something in stock they readily went to other bookstores to track down what I ordered. The mechanisms for processing my credit card payments worked flawlessly, so th banking system was intact enough. They took my orders to perfectly functioning post offices, and I got my packages a couple of weeks later (by surface mail). All the while I was reading on DU how Beirut was utterly destroyed and without power, and it would be a long time before anything would be normal there.

Some parts of Beirut were utterly demolished; most weren't. So a couple of articles have pointed out wrt Gaza: It was surreal, the reporters said, while some parts were being bombed to bits, in other parts markets were open, power and water were unaffected, there was no evidence of bombing, and traffic was on the streets as usual. Normalcy serves nobody's agenda: Neither Hamas' nor those on the side of the Palestinians, nor the journalists and their publishers.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Are you quoting an article?
Or are these your own experiences in Beirut?
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