Gaza Death Toll: 11 Palestinians Dead, 3 Israelis; Security Council Adjourns With No Action on Attack
by Richard Silverstein
So the grisly accounting begins. I’ve seen this before when I reported the Lebanon War and Cast Lead. The images of death flickering from screens. Thanks to Bibi Netanyahu we’re doing it again.
The death toll from the IDF assault is up to eleven Palestinians, a number of them babies or small children. The 10 month old son of a BBC Arabic staff member was killed along with his sister-in-law in an Israeli assault. A rocket from Gaza struck an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi, 15 miles north of Gaza. It killed three members of an Israeli family. They are the first Israelis killed or injured from rocket attacks in many months.
If anyone had any doubt about whether there will be an invasion, these deaths put that notion to rest. The dead will be avenged. Blood begets blood. So saith Bibi.
One of the most sickening responses to Operation Pillar of Cloud was that of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who didn’t even bother to fact check her pablum arguments before the UN Security Council, that might as well have been prepared for her by Aipac. The woman, who Pres. Obama wants to foist on us as the next secretary of state, appears to forget that while Gaza rockets may inflict “violence” on Israelis, the IDF’s violence is far more lethal and kills civilians and babies as well:
Rice said there was no justification for the violence that “Hamas and other terrorist organizations” are [sic] aiming at Israel…
“Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks.”
“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”
First, until the murder of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas hadn’t aimed any violence at Israel for months. It was maintaining a ceasefire and as late as three days ago offered to renew it if Israel stood down from its own attacks. Those commenced this round of violence with the murder of a 12-year-old boy on November 8th, who was playing soccer 1,200 meters from the nearest IDF position.
There were rockets launched against southern Israel. But not by Hamas. They were launched by Islamic Jihad, which is not the same (contrary to the wishes of Israel advocates like Rice to whom all Palestinians look the same). In fact, Ahmed Jabari, as Aluf Benn notes in today’s Haaretz was Gaza’s chief enforcer/peacekeeper. Haaretz’s editor calls him “Israel’s subcontractor.” Jabari was the main military figure preventing even more rocket fire and escalation. In fact, it might be argued that killing him will destabilize the region even further and so allow Bibi to distract Israelis from any non-security issue which the Opposition might’ve hoped to exploit in the election campaign. Lest you object to my overly cynical approach, read my last post which documents the series of wars historically started by Israeli leaders in the run-up to elections.
Speaking of cynicism, shall we put bets on the day the war will end? Think about it for a second and you’ll know what my guess is…January 19th. Remember the last war that ended on that date? Right, Cast Lead. Remember why? Right, Obama’s inauguration. That was a deal worked out surreptitiously between Israeli ambassador Michael Oren and Dan Shapiro in a late night home meeting. Now that Obama is president he doesn’t need to send emissaries skulking through DC streets on late-night errands. He can pick up the phone and tell Bibi he’d better be done before his second inauguration. Barack doesn’t want any blood dripping down the Capitol steps as he intones his majesterial words. And Bibi will. It would also be perfect timing for Israel’s election on January 22nd.
In truth, January 19th is probably too far from now. I’m guessing the war will last about a month. That seems to be the maximum length of time the international community can stomach mass Israeli mayhem before it throws up its hands shouting: Enough!
Finally, would someone tell Susan Rice that killing civilians, whether they’re Israeli or Palestinian, constitutes “violence.” And that the IDF is far more expert (six times more) at killing Palestinian civilians than the other way around. What I find bizarre is that for apparatchiks like Rice 12 year-old Palestinian boys don’t die from Israeli violence. I suppose they die from unfortunate accidents that can’t be helped in time of war. They die due to the ongoing intransigence of Gazans who refuse to acquiesce in Israel’s ongoing strangulation. Glad we got that straight.
Thanks to the moral temporizing of Rice, the Security Council adjourned without taking any action and has no further plans to meet on this matter. Way to go Ban Ki Moon and Mr. President! I suppose the one thing for which we may be thankful is that the State Department has told this Rice not to lapse into the delirium tremens that afflicted another Rice (Condoleeza) when she called the last Lebanon war the “birth pangs of Middle Eastern democracy.”
For the hasbara brigade attempting to argue that Hamas is at fault for causing the impending Gaza invasion, you have only to look over the IMEU’s factsheet/timeline of the violence over the past week, which began with the murder of the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, which was then followed by the rocket attack on the IDF jeep. It’s useful to dust off this excellent study prepared in the aftermath of Cast Lead which documented the prevailing pattern of Israeli assault followed by Gazan response.
For those of you keeping score at home regarding targeted killings attributed to drones by the U.S. and Israel, yesterday’s assassination was brought to you by one of Israel’s drone fleet. I imagine that this success will increase the value of these weapons for Israel’s massive arms export industry. Note the IDF proudly featured a video of the hit on Jabari and distributed it to the world media along with a disgusting bit of war porn with a blown up image of Ahjad Jabari with the stamp “Eliminated” across the bottom of the poster. We should expect to see the video played proudly at Israeli arms industry booths at weapons shows around the world.
The IDF, which enjoys dredging up Biblical references for its murderous forays into Palestinian lands, seems to have forgotten this important piece of Midrash. When Pharoah’s army was drowning in the waters of the Red Sea, the angels began singing joyfully at the deliverance of the Children of Israel. God silenced them harshly saying: “Why do you celebrate? Are not the Egyptians my creatures too?” For those debased wretches of human beings who constitute the IDF, trampling on the bodies of your dead enemy, perhaps cutting off his scalp as a war trophy, is de rigueur.
A few pro-Israel apologists have crossed the threshold of my Twitter feed, one faulting me for my “venom” against Israel (whose government he claimed to oppose!). If he wants to see venom, let him look at the wailing parents and children at Gaza’s hospitals today. The human beings who produced this suffering are the ones guilty of injecting venom into this conflict.
Originally published on Richard Silverstein’s excellent site Tikun Olam. Check there for regular updates.