Perspective: "Collective punishment" in Gaza and Sderot
Ami Isseroff 02.07.2006
[IMRA: Ami Isseroff is "Executive Director of MidEastWeb for coexistence
and a supporter of Palestinian rights". An annotated version of this
article appears at
As the tension builds in Gaza following the kidnapping (capture?) of an
Israeli soldier, so the pressure builds against Israel: "All that fuss over
one soldier!" "Gazans are suffering collective punishment!" The UN Security
council, indifferent to the fate of Israelis suffering from rocket attacks,
Israeli kids abducted and killed or Israeli soldiers abducted by terrorists,
is making ominous noises. Once again Israel is portrayed as a large and evil
"occupying" power, though there are no Israeli soldiers occupying Gaza.
It is amazing how short the human memory is. The town of Sderot and its
neighbors have been subjected to a growing blitz of ever more lethal Qassam
rockets. Remember now? Air raids every day, rockets in kindergartens,
rockets in schools, rockets near the home of the Minister of Defence. The
rockets have killed 9 people already and they getting larger and more
dangerous. An "improved" model fell inside the city of Ashqelon on June 29.
Here is what the current Israeli action in Gaza is really about:
Qassam rockets that landed in the Western Negev by month:
12 Sep 2005
08 Oct 2005
04 Nov 2005
16 Dec 2005
00 Jan 2006
01 Feb 2006
49 Mar 2006
64 Apr 2006
46 May 2006
89 June 2006
The last four months have been hell for the people of Sderot. If 89 rockets
fell on your town in a month, what would you expect your government to do?
True, Israel has a tradition of "never leave anyone behind." To retrieve
even body parts of our soldiers, Israel has traded dozens of prisoners,
including dangerous ones. No such trades were ever made during a terrorist
operation. Israel would never endanger the lives of so many of its soldiers,
and of the captive, if this were only about returning Gilad Shalit. Everyone
really knows that, including those who claim that Israel is inflicting
"Collective Punishment" on the Palestinians of Gaza. Rumors of an impending
Israeli invasion were circulating for quite a while before Gilad Shalit was
abducted or "captured." It is interesting by the way, that the American
soldier who was taken by insurgents in Iraq is referred to as "kidnapped,"
while non-Israeli media refer to Gilad Shalit as "captured" as though the
Hamas gangsters are a legitimate army.
As for the misery of the people of Gaza, BBC conplained that Gazans await
their bitter fate. However, Al-Quds Al-Arab newspaper of June 26 told the
truth, not for Western ears and eyes:
Sources in Gaza Strip confirmed yesterday that there was...happiness in the
ranks of the population, due to the quality operation carried out by the
Al-Qassam Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Army of Islam
which claimed the lives of two Israeli soldiers and two men from the
resistance, and resulted in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.
Eyewitnesses said yesterday that joy was obvious on the faces of hundreds of
people in Rafah, after they heard about the operation carried out by the
Palestinian resistance. They indicated that hundreds of people congratulated
one another and some distributed sweets to the citizens to express their
"If your happy and you know it clap your hands." They love it when a plan
comes together. Al Quds al Arabi also noted that the mother of one of the
terrorists killed in the action said:
Today, I celebrate the wedding of my son with the most precious thing in
life, Allah. People should come to congratulate me on the martyrdom of my
son Muhamed. I offered what is dearest to my heart and God, I am completely
satisfied and honest in what I am saying. He told me to forgive him.
n Israel there is no joy. We are not happy about the "capture" of Gilad
Shalit, or the killing of five people in Sderot or or the murder of Eliyahu
Asheri. We will not be happy as long as the murder and the violence
continue. We are not happy about the pending reoccupation of Gaza, if that
is what will happen, and we are not happy if the Palestinians must celebrate
in darkness because their power transformers were destroyed by the Israeli
army. We do not want to spoil their celebrations. However if that is what
must be done, it will be done.
Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook is second in command of the political Hamas
leadership in Syrian exile. He is supposed to be a "mild" politician rather
than a bloodthirsty general. He told Der Spiegel:
"No Matter What, the Violence Will Never Stop"
Israel Air Force chief Major General Eliezer Shkedy is a military man. He is
suppsoed to be one of those evil Zionist warmongers that you hear about on
the BBC who are inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians in
Gaza. He told Jerusalem Post, somewhat to the dismay of hawkish Israelis:
If we know that [the terrorist] is holding his son's hand, we do not fire.
Even if the terrorist is in the midst of firing a Kassam, and the Kassam is
aimed to kill. We do not fire. You should know that. And that's a fearsome
I'm very proud of what we do. I think it is unprecedented. I'm proud of our
morals. I'm proud of our operational capabilities.
Ultimately our strength is not solely our military power. That's part of our
strength. The strength of the Jewish people in the State of Israel and the
Land of Israel is first and foremost our profound moral strength. Everything
stems from that.
rmative contrast between the Hamas "politician" and the Israeli general. In
case anyone thinks the Hamas way will win, here is the punchline of the
interview with Shkedy:
Our deterrent capability, our existence? I intend for us to be here until
the end of time.
Mr Marzook, take note.
www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000142.html where you may comment.
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