Monday, December 29, 2008

Seth Freedman on Gaza

Freedman moved to Israel to join the Israeli left, so that that his criticism of Israel could be more effective, in the form of a vote. Though I believe he remains a committed Zionist, his criticism has generally been severe and often crossed some lines for me. He writes at Comment is Free:
For all that I regularly sound off about almost every facet of the Israeli occupation and the government's policies towards the Palestinians, I struggle to see what option Israel's leaders had, other than to take the kind of action that they took this weekend.
Of course I also fail to really see what lasting good this option promises -NPR is now reporting Israeli officials saying they've cut Hamas's ability to launch attacks by 50%, but I wonder how long it will take Hamas to rebuild that capacity- but Freedman is right.

Also, evidence has been mounting that the casualties in Gaza have been almost entirely, somewhere around 80%, members of Hamas's military wing. I've heard similar numbers from several sources now. I doubt any army has ever been that good at preventing civilian deaths, and I doubt such a ratio could easily fail a test of proportionality. There will be further stages of the invasion. I hope they will continue to avoid civilian deaths.

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