Israel’s attack on Gaza is revenge for the Palestinians’ refusal to accept occupation
Say what you will about Hamas’ rocket fire, at least they managed to scratch the surface of Israel’s faith in the normalcy of its domination of another people.
By Amira Hass | Jul. 23, 2014 |
There is method in madness, and the Israeli insanity, which refuses to grasp the extent of its revenge in Gaza, has very good reasons for being the way it is. The entire nation is the army, the army is the nation, and both are represented by a Jewish-democratic government and a loyal press, and the four of them work together to stave off the great betrayal: the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the normalcy of the situation.
The Palestinians are disobedient. They refuse to adapt. This is after we thought it was working for us, with VIP treatment for a few of them and an opportunity for swollen bank accounts for some, and with enormous donations from the United States and Europe that nurture the pockets of imaginary Palestinian rule.
The insistent, steadfast demonstrations in West Bank villages have not even scratched the surface of the Israeli faith in the normalcy of our domination of another people. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement did manage to confuse our ego a bit, but it is still not enough to make Israelis want to get the message. The Palestinian reconciliation government seemed to move us another step forward; it had the potential to embark on the path of rejecting the show of normalcy dictated by Israel, but too many forces within Fatah and Hamas did not support it.
Then it was the turn of Hamas’ rockets to disturb the occupier’s rest. Say what you will about it, but they succeeded in doing what the demonstrations, the boycott of Tapuzina orange drink and the concert cancellations did not.
Nation, army, government and press: You have eyes and ears, yet you will not see and you will not hear. You still hope that the Palestinian blood we have already shed and have yet to shed will win a long-term lull, which will bring us back to occupation as usual. You refuse to use your competence to stop in time, before an even bigger disaster takes place — just as you refused the time before, and the time before that.
And boy, are you competent when you want to be. The armed Hamas operatives who emerged from the tunnel shaft on Kibbutz Nir Am on Monday were dressed as Israeli soldiers. Haaretz’s Amos Harel writes that in the first moments, the field commanders were not sure whether they were soldiers or terrorists. “Finally, thanks to an aerial photograph taken by a drone, they were found to be Hamas operatives,” writes Harel. “They were carrying Kalashnikov rifles, which the Israeli army does not use.”
So the photographs taken by the drone can be very precise when its operators wish. It can discern whether there are children on the seashore or on the roof — children who, even for the legal acrobats in the Justice Ministry and the army, are not a justifiable target for our bombs. The drone can also discern that a rescue team has arrived to pull out wounded people, that families are fleeing their homes. All this can be shown in a close-up photograph taken by a drone, at high enough resolution that the operators of the bombs and the shells have no reason to press the “kill” button on their keyboards. But for some reason, the eye of the drone that can tell the difference between various makes of rifles cannot tell that this figure over here is a child, and that is a mother or a grandmother. Instead, all are given a death sentence.
The Israeliness of the moment is like that drone. It chooses to see blearily. It clings closely to the good, comfortable life of a master nation, unwilling to allow its subjects to interfere with it. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon translated that into political language when he said, “We will not agree to recognize the reconciliation government, but other arrangements such as controlling crossing points is something we can accept. [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud] Abbas will control the crossing points, but he will not control the Gaza Strip itself.”
That is the routine we are cultivating. Gaza and the West Bank are cut off. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, but under conditions that we dictate, just as Fatah and the PA “rule” in their pockets in the West Bank, in accordance with our conditions. If the Palestinians need to be tamed at times, we will tame them with blood and with more blood. And peace be upon Israel.