TW: civilian casualties of war, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli-Lebanese conflict, Israeli-Syrian conflict, Israeli-Turkish conflict
If you’ve been on twitter, or Facebook, or any other social media site at all today, you’ve probably encountered the familiar yet impossible-to-resolve arguments about Israel that crop up every time there’s a military conflict involving it. Yes, we’ve already slid back into another conflict in which Israel is involved for the sixth time in the past few years. In 2006, it was Lebanese civilians and Hezbollah. In 2007, it was North Korean workers and the perceived threat of a nuclear Syria. In 2008 and 2009, it was Gazan civilians and Hamas militants. In 2010, it was Turkish activists. In 2011, it was Gazan civilians and Hamas militants again. And now we have a newfangled youtubified war between, you guessed it, the Israeli military and Hamas-affiliated militants in Gaza.
Reports are flying around twitter that, as always, the Israeli government is hoping to sue for peace after a few bombing campaigns. Quite literally, they’ve painted themselves as fighting a war to create a peace, because that’s always gone over so well. Meanwhile, on other corners of the internet, this image has been floating around:
(Photo journalist Jihad Misharawi weeps over his son’s body, after he was killed by an Israeli bombing campaign. From here.)
I’m not exactly clear on why the Israeli government is convinced that perpetuating the conflict that claimed this man’s eleven month old son will increase the possibility of peace, but that’s been a key part of their casus belli in each of those conflicts – that they’d bomb their way to peace. Hamas has held numerous campaigns against Israel in spite of such statements being made each and every time. When the Israeli army raised its hand against Turkish and Lebanese civilians, Israel lost two key regional allies. It didn’t work then. It doesn’t look like it’s working now. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Israeli government may break the capacity of Hamas in Gaza to strike back by destroying Gaza’s already shoestring infrastructure, but that ceasefire will only be a temporary effect. It will guarantee revenge violence once Gaza has regained something even remotely akin to stability.
Killing Misharawi’s son won’t convince anyone to put down their arms. For some, it will even do precisely the opposite. The Israeli government is either lying and positioning themselves for more wars or disturbingly incompetent to the point of being unable to realize the situation they’ve created for themselves. In either case, we’ll see more civilians on both sides of the fences die until that discrepancy is dealt with.
As this is commentary on current violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I reserve the right to delete or otherwise deal with comments at any time if I deem them to be islamophobic, antisemitic, racist, or otherwise derogatory towards any ethno-religious group.