Amira Hass was born in Jerusalem in 1956 and has been covering Gaza and the West Bank for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz since 1993. She lived in Gaza for three years and has lived in the West Bank for the past seventeen.
Below is most of a recent article of hers. Her thesis is that “Israel’s attack on Gaza is revenge for the Palestinians’ refusal to accept occupation”.
“There is method in madness, and the Israeli insanity, which refuses to grasp the extent of its revenge in Gaza, has very good reasons for being the way it is. The entire nation is the army, the army is the nation, and both are represented by a Jewish-democratic government and a loyal press. The four of them work together to stave off the great betrayal: the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the normalcy of the situation.
The Palestinians are disobedient. They refuse to adapt….The insistent, steadfast demonstrations in West Bank villages have not even scratched the surface of the Israeli faith in the normalcy of our domination of another people. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement did manage to confuse our ego a bit, but it is still not enough to make Israelis want to get the message. The Palestinian reconciliation government seemed to move us another step forward; it had the potential to embark on the path of rejecting the show of normalcy dictated by Israel, but too many forces within Fatah and Hamas did not support it.
Then it was the turn of Hamas’ rockets to disturb the occupier’s rest. Say what you will about it, but they succeeded in doing what the demonstrations, the boycott of Tapuzina orange drink and the concert cancellations did not….
Nation, army, government and press: You have eyes and ears, yet you will not see and you will not hear. You still hope that the Palestinian blood we have already shed and have yet to shed will win a long-term lull, which will bring us back to occupation as usual….
And boy, are you competent when you want to be. The armed Hamas operatives who emerged from the tunnel shaft on Kibbutz Nir Am on Monday were dressed as Israeli soldiers….“Finally, thanks to an aerial photograph taken by a drone, they were found to be Hamas operatives” because “they were carrying Kalashnikov rifles, which the Israeli army does not use”.
So the photographs taken by the drone can be very precise when its operators wish. It can discern whether there are children on the seashore or on the roof — children who, even for the legal acrobats in the Justice Ministry and the army, are not a justifiable target for our bombs. The drone can also discern that a rescue team has arrived to pull out wounded people, that families are fleeing their homes… But for some reason, the eye of the drone that can tell the difference between various makes of rifles cannot tell that this figure over here is a child, and that is a mother or a grandmother….
The Israeliness of the moment is like that drone. It chooses to see blearily. It clings closely to the good, comfortable life of a master nation, unwilling to allow its subjects to interfere with it. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon translated that into political language when he said, “We will not agree to recognize the reconciliation government, but other arrangements such as controlling crossing points is something we can accept. [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud] Abbas will control the crossing points, but he will not control the Gaza Strip itself.”
That is the routine we are cultivating. Gaza and the West Bank are cut off. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, but under conditions that we dictate, just as Fatah and the Palestinian Authority “rule” in their pockets in the West Bank, in accordance with our conditions. If the Palestinians need to be tamed at times, we will tame them with blood and with more blood. And peace be upon Israel.”
Concurrently, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu brought up Nazi Germany, comparing Israel being bombarded by those troubling but generally ineffective Palestinian rockets to England’s suffering at the hands of the Germans in World War II. From Jerusalem Online:
PM Benyamin Netanyahu met British Foreign Affairs Minister Philip Hammond and compared Israel’s condition in these days to the condition in Britain in World War 2. “Israel’s condition is similar to Britain’s when it was bombed as well”, said Netanyahu, clarifying that Israel’s intention is to go forth with the operation: “There is no guarantee of a hundred percent success, however IDF has shown impressive achievements in the field and we are moving forward with this operation… We aim our fire at those who fire rockets at us”.
An estimated 40,000 people died in England during the Blitz. Since the latest hostilities began, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas and fewer than 30 in the past 14 years. The Palestinian death toll just this month is now over 1,000, mostly civilians, with bodies still being recovered during the temporary cease-fire.
If we’re going to talk about the Nazis, a more apt comparison is to their infamous response to resistance movements in occupied countries. From Wikipedia:
The Kragujevac massacre was the murder of Serbian, Jewish and Roma men and boys in Serbia by German Wehrmacht soldiers on 20 and 21 October 1941. All males from the town between the ages of sixteen and sixty were assembled by German troops and [Serbian collaborators] and the victims were selected from amongst them.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel had issued an order on 16 September 1941, applicable to all of occupied Europe, to kill 50 communists for every wounded German soldier and 100 for each German soldier killed.
The victims have become victimizers.