Friday, January 9, 2009

Excellent "Lenin" post on Gaza

In general, the posts at Lenin's Tomb on Gaza recently have been sharp, informative and refreshing (to the extent that any news about Gaza can be said to be so). Here's an excerpt:
The IDF's initial justification for the attack on the Al-Fakhura school was that Hamas had used the building to fire mortars from, and its tanks had responded. Implicit in this was an admission that they had targeted the school on purpose. The tank shells, presumably shot from quite nearby, were fired by soldiers operating under orders from command centres equipped with detailed targeting intelligence. As is now known, the Israeli military had the GPS coordinates not only of this UN school but of the other UN schools that it attacked. We also know that the UN told Israeli forces that the schools were being used as refuges for those driven out of their houses by Israel. And the first thing the IDF let us know is that it was done on purpose. Their excuse was barbaric, of course. The idea that an invading force may attack a building filled with hundreds of terrorised civilians just in order to kill two of those resisting the invasion is nothing short of grotesque. But the fact that it was barbaric was part of the point: rather than bluntly condemning a war crime, you were invited to focus on whether Hamas would be so evil as to attack Israel's brave boys from within a civilian building. Because it is so frequently repeated you might be predisposed to assume that Hamas did indeed position its 'infrastructure of terror' among unsuspecting citizens but, whether you are so predisposed or not, you are already drawn into the macabre calculus of the murderer if you even get involved in that argument. You have tacitly accepted the logic in which war crimes are not merely acceptable, but actually appropriate, if the enemy really is as evil as Israel says. The usual suspects, of course, immediately embraced Israel's excuse: Israel's killing, they expostulated, merely demonstrates the ruthless, diabolical genius of Hamas. If anything, they added, the IDF was admirably restrained in its action. But it is doubtful that many others were taken in.
Read the entire post here.

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