Israel’s policy on Palestinians and their supporters: An eye for a tooth

The Bible says “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand.” (Exodus, 21:23) The Israeli government has long since amended this commandment. Israel’s policy appears to be eye for tooth.

Israel’s latest military action was to interdict an attempt to run an Israeli blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The blockade-running flotilla sailed from Turkey with humanitarian supplies. It was stopped by Israel Defense Forces, who subdued the crews, killing ten of them, seized the boats and supplies, and brought the 700 activists, mostly Turkish, to Israel. The Israeli government said it would deport almost all of them within the next two days, but about 50 would be held for investigation into their part in the violence at sea.

It was another great victory for the once vaunted Israel Defense Forces over unarmed civilians. Here’s the recent scorecard of deaths:

· 2010 Gaza blockade incident: Israelis 0, Turks (and a few others) 10

· 2008-9 Gaza invasion: Israelis 13, Palestinians 1300

· 2006 Lebanon invasion: Israelis 162, Lebanese 1035

Israel asserts the right of self defense, and clearly some of the people they killed were fighting against Israel, including against the civilian population. But most opinion inside Israel is that the vast majority of those killed by the IDF have been unarmed non-combatants.

Israel’s relentless war on Palestinians and those who support them has cost it the respect and sympathy of much of the world; it’s latest victory is likely to turn Turkey, its only friend in the Muslim world, into an implacable foe. So much for great victories.

Pyrrhus, the Greek king who led his forces to a bloody (“Pyrrhic”) victory over the Romans in 279 BC, is said to have said, “One more such victory, and we shall be undone.” It looks like the latest IDF triumph may be such a victory.

One hopeful sign: the photo, courtesy of the Turkish newspaper, Today’s Zaman [Time], of two New York Orthodox Jews carrying Turkish flags in protest against Israel’s action. Thanks to Judith Ellis for alerting me to the photo.

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One Response to “Israel’s policy on Palestinians and their supporters: An eye for a tooth”

  1. Ethics Bob Says:

    Here’s an eyewitness account, courtesy of the Huffington Post. It’s an interview with Ann Wright, a retired US Army Lt Col and state dept person after that. THe papers identify her as a peace activist:

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