Saturday, January 17, 2009
Gaza and the Day of Reckoning
So Israel has declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza.
But what does it really mean and how long will it really last?
Hamas has repeated its conditions for a ceasefire. It wants a withdrawal of Israeli forces within a week, and the opening of Gaza's crossings to the outside world.
Israel says Hamas has to take it or leave it. The question now is whether Hamas decides to lick its wounds and regroup - or whether it gambles on dragging Israel into a war of attrition.
After inflicting so much pain and death, Israel still says that Gaza's civilians are not its enemy. That is something that Gazans - and millions of others in this part of the world - do not believe.
And who can blame them?
The two brothers, aged five and seven, were killed at a school sheltering up to 1,800 local residents in Biet Lahiya, in northern Gaza. The mother of the children lost both her legs in the incident and another 13 people were injured.
More than 1,200 killed...one third of them children. More than 5,300 wounded, burned, or mutilated. Tens of thousands forced to flee their homes. Massive destruction everywhere in one of the poorest places on earth.
And for what ? So Israel's reputation can be blackened in the eyes of the world? And the hard men from Hamas can claim victory by just surviving the onslaught? And all over the world young Muslims can shout "we are all Hamas." And strap on suicide belts.
This war was never anything more than madness. And the day of reckoning will be brutal. Because believe me when the world finally sees what Ehud Olmert and his brutish bullies have done to Gaza it will be horrified. And then revolted.
Just like I was appalled when I saw what they did to Rafah.
But at least tonight the bombs have stopped falling, and the children of Gaza, who make up more than half the population, can sleep safe and sound.
And for me that's all that counts. Because what has been done to them in the last three weeks has been an absolute crime against humanity.
And it must never happen again...
Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.