While folks in the U.S. are properly distracted by Presidential follies, the Israelis have been beating up on the 1.5 million Palestinians locked down in the prison that is the Gaza Strip. They are "answering" home-made rocket attacks on Israel launched from Gaza. Let's see:
- 783 rockets fired at Israel in 2007, killing two people ... Israeli Defense Forces (Army) via BBC
- [During the last week], over 100 Palestinians have been injured and more than 31 have died as a result of Israeli military action ... World Vision Middle East via Alertnet
None of the U.S. politicians currently chasing our votes is likely to do anything to oppose this behavior.
When collective punishments were meted out to resisting citizens of German-occupied Europe during WWII, occupiers' behavior was considered monstrously barbarous, clear evidence of the uncivilized character of the Nazi regime. When the U.S. Army leveled most of the Iraqi city of Falluja in late 2004 for the crime of serving as a center of resistance to U.S. occupation, the attack was simply a military operation.
At root, we either think other people are people -- or not. Nazis knew that untermenschen, especially Jews, were subhuman. Israeli authorities know that Palestinians, especially those associated with Hamas, are just cockroaches obstructing the Zionist project. U.S. commanders in Iraq know they confront only hajis, whose lives and country require no respect. When the enemy is not human, any atrocity goes. Not a pretty picture ...