Middle East Watch
The alternative press revue for a free Middle East
Israel’s Policy of Killing Civilians
Palestine Think Tank
2 June 2010, by
Killing civilians has been State policy in Israel since 1948 (and, prior to that, of Zionism). It’s not about “tragic mistakes”, there’s no “deep regret for the incident”. Killing civilians is what Israel has founded itself on with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and this is what allows it to live.
What is to be added to this is the outright impunity Israel enjoys due to its being the largest American military base on the planet, and, only marginally, due to its being a Jewish State originated from the Holocaust.
By connecting Israel’s innermost policy of killing civilians to its outright impunity, we understand precisely what happened on the Freedom Flotilla ship.
On January 1948, the founding fathers of Israel, Yigal Allon and Ben Gurion, declared that “there is a need for a brutal reaction. We need to be accurate about those we hit, if we accuse a family we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included…. There is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty”. In 1978, the Israeli Chief of Staff, Mordechai Gur, told the Israeli military analyst Ze’ev Schiff that “for 30 years we have been fighting a war against civilians who live in villages…..we struck civilians consciously because they deserved it….our army has never distinguished between civilian and military targets but purposely attacked civilian targets”. In 2000, Dan Halutz, who also was later to be the Israeli Chief of Staff, after an air strike he himself conducted and in which civilians were slain, claimed “What did I feel? Only a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release but a second later it’s gone”.
Israel’s invasions in Lebanon and its actions in the Occupied Territories are an on-going litany of international massacres of civilians. Anyone can check out the condemnations Israel has received from any single institution of international law and from human rights organizations. It would have made no difference if all the dead from the Freedom Flotilla had been American pacifist activists. Rachel Corrie was, and she was slain, Tristan Anderson was American and he was shot in the head point-blank, and Tom Hurndall, James Miller and Brian Avery were western, Anglo-Saxon names as well.
The lesson we must learn is that the utmost sacrifice of these young heroes who gave their lives and who did that in order to end the crime against humanity of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine—because it’s precisely what Israel has been doing for 60 years and today carries out by starving and strangling civilian Palestinians before us, cowardly western accomplices, with the approval of our Presidents, like (the Italian President) Giorgio Napolitano, who are accomplices in committing crimes against humanity—has been in vain. As long as the western public opinion goes on thinking that “yes, Israel kills and is wrong but it is the only democracy, but Israel must defend itself, but Israel is victim of Arab terrorism, but Israel is the lesser evil” and so on, there will be no massacre, no sacrifice of a young life, no heroic act that will make any difference whatsoever for justice in Palestine.
Enough with putting one’s life at risk there, it’s of no use. Let’s use our lives so as to form in the western public opinion the awareness of what Israel really is—the fact that it’s not a democracy, that self-defence and security are just pretexts, that it’s the true terrorist and the worst danger in the Middle East—and of how abhorrent its impunity is, because, as Noam Chomsky stated, “history tells us that when people detect barbarism, they take action to stop it”. It’s the only way.