Saturday, December 27, 2008

Massacre in Gaza

No-one knows if and when peace will ever be achieved in the Middle East. One thing is certain though: today Israel's act of 'self-defence' has recruited at least half a dozen suicide bombers.

This is what Middle East Peace envoy Tony Blair said exactly a year ago in his usual sanctimonious can-do fashion: "Sure, it is absolutely possible to have a peace deal by the end of the year", he mouthed, citing January 2009 as a "reasonable target".

If anyone still doubted that Tony Blair's gob can only produce delusional rubbish, as we speak the Israeli government is on course for the biggest mass murder of the year. And no, we haven't forgotten that living under rockets constantly flying in from Hamas must be a real nightmare. Nor is it realistic to expect Hamas as a reasonable negotiating partner.

But to butcher more than 200 Palestinians in one go, like if they were ants, the way Israel did today in "the bloodiest one-day death toll in 60 years of conflict with the Palestinians", says a lot about their intent for peace. The Israeli military said "the air strikes were launched in a bid to stop terrorist attacks from the Hamas-run enclave".

But to give you a sense of proportion, according to the pro-Jerusalem Israel Project, the total number of Israeli deaths (civilians and military combined) from Palestinian terrorism in 2008 as a whole amounted to 31. Just in the first three months of the year, the UN reported 234 Palestinians deaths as a result of Israeli military attacks.

The Telegraph quotes B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group reporting that "nine Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza since [Israel] withdrew all settlers and soldiers from the territory in September 2005 [while] over the same period, at least 1,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in Gaza". Unlike St. Tony, no-one knows if and when peace will ever be achieved in the Middle East. One thing is certain though. Today's massacre has sown the seeds of at least half a dozen suicide bombers.

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