Sunday, 28 December 2008
Of course the whole thing is a disaster. For each person who dies it is a disaster and for those around them too. Nor is it going to stop being a disaster. Not for a long time.
On the other hand it is not being mentioned much that it was Hamas who declared the cease fire over and much increased their - mainly ineffective in terms of human life - bombardment of those parts of Israel within their reach. This is after Israel released 227 prisoners on 15 December as a gesture of good will.
So why did Hamas break their ceasefire when they did? I can't hear anyone asking. And why suddenly step up the bombardment? What was there to gain? Why now?
The Hamas charter calls for nothing less than the destruction of Israel. It has reiterated that many times. That is not a call for a two-state solution. Hamas knows that if Israel retaliates there will be many killed and, as often before, the effects of the retaliation can be used as part of the psychological war that Hamas hopes to win, for which the temperature has to be kept very high to ensure international support. Will Hamas worry about casualties? People who send out suicide bombers are not going to be too concerned about incidental loss of life when it is in hope of greater gain.
The Israeli response is being declared disproportionate, as before. But what would be proportionate? How would one go about arranging a proportionate response? Make sure one was firing duds? Aiming to miss? Executing a Hamas prisoner? Would that be internationally welcomed? Fixing the bombs so that when hitting a Hamas target situated in a crowded part of the city they only kill members of Hamas?
Hamas is already deploying longer range rockets. Iran is working towards the possession of nuclear weapons. President Ahmadinejad, the Christmas messager of Channel Four, has often called for the erasure and death of Israel.
You think they don't mean it? If you were surrounded by hostile states who have never recognised you, who have vowed your destruction and keep lobbing rockets at you, you might want to take it a little more seriously. On the other hand - and this is what I increasingly hear - you might be coming round to thinking that maybe Israel, the one country where Jews are not in a vulnerable minority, has outlived international goodwill (friends have said this much to me) and really should be vanished (unspecified how) along with all those Zionists who support it. Remember Zionism equals Fascism, Racism, Nazism, Genocide and the True Holocaust.
So take out most of Hollywood. And those powerful political lobbies. And the bankers. The Jewish bankers at any rate. You know they are to blame for everything. They have fingers in every pie. Then the professions. The press. Start by banning them from certain important jobs. What harm can there be in that? Stop them bellyaching if nothing else. Or at least give them something to bellyache about. Go with precedent. There's no shortage of precedent. And surely there must be a reason for all those precedents.
Not a good year coming.