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Monday, November 19, 2012

A Pre-Election Pillar of Hatred?

International columnist Roger Cohen just posted online at NYT online only, citing "self-defeating Israeli military offensives of the past 16 years — Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon, Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and now Operation Pillar of Defense, all of them, not coincidentally, initiated on the eve of national elections in Israel."

He cites the same quote by Ariel Sharon's son that I posted here last night, and comments:  "Atomic bombs, blackness, stillness, nothingness — Sharon allows himself to indulge the old Israeli dream that the Palestinian people should just disappear. But of course they do not. They regroup. They find new leaders. They endure with hatred of Israel reignited by loss."

And now: "the U.S. Congress isolated in its blanket approval, Israel casting around for a plausible endgame as regional fury mounts.  Is all this good for Israel? No. Unless good is defined as policies that radicalize the situation, erode middle ground, demonstrate the impossibility of agreement, and so facilitate continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the expansion of settlements there and the steady eclipse of the idea of a two-state peace. This may well be Netanyahu’s criteria for a tactical victory from Operation Pillar of Defense (along with victory for Likud on Jan. 22.)"

Finally" "As Aluf Benn, editor in chief of the Israeli daily Haaretz, commented, 'The assassination of Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election.'"  See my new piece at The Nation on prominent Israelis calling for the "flatterning" of Gaza, sending it back "to the Middle Ages" or citing Hiroshima.

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