[Sorry for yet another re-post. Was dissatisfied with the wording, as usual.]
Haroon at avari-nameh has summed up well the profoundly immoral doublestandards on lurid display in the standoff between Israel and the Palestinians at the moment.
In order to bully the Hamas-led government into forcing some militants to hand over an abducted Israeli colonel–At the very same time that it continues to blow up people’s cars from the air, it should be noted–Israel has intentionally bombed the electricity and water facilities of the Gaza Strip, leaving 1.3 million people without these crucial utilities at the height of summer in the Middle East.
It has also kidnapped a number of elected Palestinian government officials, openly trampling on due process, democratic governance, and Palestinian sovereignty. Once again, Israel’s periodic professions of outrage at the lack of democracy or rule of law in its neighbors are shown to be cynical PR ploys.
As if that were not enough, Israel has openly begun to target the whole civilian population. The military has been intentionally creating terrifying sonic booms over the Gaza Strip at night and early morning. In addition to generally terrorizing and traumatizing innocent people (children in particular), these "sound bombs" have been known to cause miscarriages. (Tellingly, this illegal and inhumane practice began last year with the departure of the last remaining full fledged human beings…I mean, "settlers"…from Gaza. )A fundamental question needs to be answered by Israel’s blind defenders: Is this the behavior of a peaceful neighbor, or a wartime enemy? That is not meant as a slogan to rally its opponents (Israel makes that easy enough through its actions). I’m asking a simple and legitimate question. Is this not the behavior of a declared enemy?
I emphasize this point because one of the biggest problems with Western coverage of this conflict is that implicit assumption that only one side is fighting. Palestinian violence is often discussed as if it occurs in a backdrop of peaceful coexistence rather than the vicious cycle of escalating violence and mutual demonization that they find themselves in.
Also, please remember these telling little incidents next time you hear this sanctimonious preaching about Palestinians not "recognizing Israel’s right to exist". Or outraged reports of the prevalence of hatred of Israel among Palestinians.
Why should Israel expect formal recognition from the Palestinians when it behaves with such impunity and lawlessness towards both their elected government and even its civilian population?
It’s time for the international community to ask, "When will the Israelis recognize Palestine?"