On June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the occupied territories about 40 miles from Gaza. They were found dead on June 30.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's immediate response: “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” His evidence: None.
Netanyahu's right-wing coalition partners want dead Palestinian bodies, and a lot of them, to pay for the deaths of the three teens. Assembling evidence and finding the actual perpetrators is of little importance compared to exacting a heavy price from the entire Palestinian population in Gaza.
So much for “shared values”. Shared with whom?
The blood lust of a senior member of Netanyahu's governing coalition, Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party was reflected in a post to her social media page stating Israel should kill the mothers of combatants and bomb their houses “otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.”
Netanyahu will do whatever he has to do to pacify his right-wing coalition partners and achieve an “acceptable” body count. If he doesn't, he will not remain as Prime Minister.
The shelling of Gaza is now in progress, and the body count is building. Precious few Israeli soldiers will get anywhere near harm's way. It will all be done from above, with the best weapons US taxpayers can buy. Ms. Shaked of the Jewish Home Party will be pleased.
The last time Israel conducted a massacre in Gaza was in late 2008 – early 2009. The body count was 1,385 dead Palestinians and 13 dead Israelis … four of whom died from so-called 'friendly' fire. According to the Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem, 318 of the Palestinian deaths were children and 107 were women.
For the 2008 – 2009 massacre known as Operation Cast Lead, Israelis brought picnics up on a scenic overlook above Gaza near the town of Sderot so they could “revel” in the slaughter below. For more detail and documentation on this sordid scene, see, Blumenthal, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, 2013, pp. 3 – 14.
If the death count ratio of 100 to 1 “achieved” in Operation Cast Lead is to be replicated in the present operation, then 300 Palestinians are going to have to die. As of Wednesday, July 9, The New York Times reports at least 29 Palestinians have been killed, including 8 children under the age of 16. No Israeli deaths or injuries have been reported.
The question then becomes, can you have a decent picnic with full-blown “reveling” with only 300 deaths? Maybe those high up above Gaza, safely out of harm's way, will have to settle for some light nosh and knowing chuckles while they enjoy the slaughter below.
Too bad. They'll just have to wait for the next massacre. After all, where are the Palestinians in Gaza going to go?
They're locked in. Literally.
I will post again on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (or before, if the news flow dictates) and, for the time being, I will post on the first Wednesday of each month.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.