Israel’s assaults on Gaza are illegal

Let’s see it clearly: Israel’s assaults on Gaza are illegal and constitute war crimes. A country has only a right for military actions when …

  • the action directly reduces the threat (immediate reduction of rocket attacks)
  • the action is is proportional (limited number of civilian causalities in comparison to the military achievement and the threat).
  • there is no alternative, i.e. diplomacy

Israel’s attacks …
1.  do not bring a long-term solution to the underlying problems
2.  do not stop or reduce the rockets being shoot
3.  do not save Israeli lives
4. are a hindrance for peace talks

… because …
1. There is no military solution. The siege and the occupation are the root cause.
Unless there is a true settlement (two-state solution) or at least a truce that allows for normal life in Gaza, rockets will be the only option for protest (see Gideon Levi “But the (bitter) truth is that when Gaza is not firing rockets at Israel, nobody cares about it. …”[1])
2. Rockets sharply increased after Israel attacked Gaza. Until then, not even one person was harmed by the rockets.
3. Israel’s attacks worsened the situation. More rockets were shoot and eventually lead to 2 dead.
4. By attacking Israel undermined peace talks.

If Israel were truly interested reducing the risk for its population, all the government has to do is negotiating with Hamas, ease the siege and continue sincere peace talks. History shows that Hamas kept agreements even in the face of Israeli violations. The choice between attacking militarily or starting negotiations is a true choice. Hamas is at Israel’s mercy: Israel has a choice (lift the siege).
But Israel’s true goal is to change from peace talks to military confrontation. The Netanyahu government is playing the blame game, (“terrorists”, “there is no partner for peace”, etc.) to continue the status quo of occupation. With Egypt under Sisi and no sign of any substantial change in US behaviour (weapons & money flowing, UN-vetoes for bail-out) apart from slips by Kerry, the occupation and the siege will continue. Israelis can live well with a few causalities every two years. For Gazans, it means slow death in general and massacre every two years.
There are no signs at all that the Israeli public has any understanding of the situation.
The propaganda has penetrated the deepest layers; Palestinians are seen quasi as a species of terrorists and everything is their fault. IMHO only two things can change the pro-military standpoint of the population: a high number of causalities of soldiers or international pressure.
The second can change those who do not support the occupation but do not care if it is prolonged. As long as business as usual is possible, the occupation is a non-topic for many. Those might change their mind and pressure the government for action when their business suffers, i.e. when they cannot do business with the outside world any more. BDS and the call for an arms embargo are therefore a viable answers against the ongoing occupation and the current massacre in particular.



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