Israel’s Massacre In Gaza

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[Black Star News Editorial]

The New York Times, not your typical radical newspaper reported today that there was "a shocking quality" to yesterday's aerial attack by Israel’s air force in Gaza at Hamas and that those killed "included civilians, including several construction workers and at least two children in school uniforms."

In addition to the more than 225 reported deaths, The Times added: "The center of Gaza City was a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking as dozens of mutilated bodies were laid out on the pavement and in the lobby of Shifa Hospital so that family members could identify them."

"One of the biggest tolls on Saturday was at a police cadet graduation ceremony in which 15 people were killed," the Times reported, noting that "with work here increasingly scarce because of an international embargo on Hamas, young men are tempted by the steady work of the police force without necessarily fully accepting the Hamas ideology."

The newspaper reported that one Israelie was killed in retaliatory missile attacks by Hamas.

The Times also reported the Israeli attack as "the highest one-day toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades."

While Hamas has been guilty of launching rocket attacks against Israel in recent weeks and ignoring warnings, the retaliation by Israel was way out of proportion and precisely the kind of retaliation that hardliners in Hamas might have prayed for.

A disproportional deadly response such as the one unleashed by Israel –with the deaths of innocent women and children—plays right into the hands of hardliners, discredits Israel, and gains fresh recruits for Hamas including suicide bombers yearning for vengeance.

Even in countries that oppose Hamas and its rocket attacks against Israel, such as Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, The Times reported, "the sight of scores of Palestinians killed by Israeli warplanes outraged their citizens, and anti-Israel demonstrations broke out across the region."

It’s interesting to note that Israel’s defense minister is Ehud Barack, who also has aspirations for the prime minister’s post; to what extent the political ambition factored in his calculations is an open question.

Hamas had done a good job in discrediting itself with its obstructionism, and its vow not to recognize Israel, which is the reason why much of the world had been dealing with the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas. Now Abbas –who also condemned the Israeli attacks—will become even more irrelevant and Hamas will gain as a result of yesterday’s attack.

Hezbollah also will gain new adherents as a result of the Israeli attack and counter-retaliations could even invite larger scale fighting.

Israel did itself a great injury with yesterday’s disproportionately murderous attack in Palestine.

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