January 7, 2009

The Jewish Wehrmacht always targets Civilians: the Jewish Wehrmacht’s Insanely disproportionate use of Violence against Unarmed Civilians.

Updated February 16, 2009.

The Jews’ Nazi Policy.
Uri Avnery.
"The stated aim was, as always, to stop the launching of the rockets. The means: killing a maximum of Palestinians, in order to teach them a lesson. The decision was based on the traditional Israeli concept: hit the civilian population again and again, until it overthrows its leaders. This has been tried hundreds of times and has failed hundreds of times." (Uri Avnery "Kill a Hundred Turks and Rest": The Five-Day War in Gaza http://www.counterpunch.com/avnery03102008.html March 10, 2008).

Saree Makdisi.
"In Gaza, the Israeli infantry won’t take a single step forward unless the ground in front of them, and everything and everyone in it, armed, unarmed, whoever and whatever they are, has been safely cleared away for them by the air or by artillery. "These are ‘Georgia rules,’ which are not so far from the methods Russia used in its conflict last summer," write Harel and Issacharoff in Ha’aretz. "The result is the killing of dozens of non-combatant Palestinians. The Gaza medical teams might not have reached all of them yet. When an Israeli force gets into an entanglement, as in Sajaiyeh last night [where three Israeli soldiers were killed], massive fire into built-up areas is initiated to cover the extraction. In other cases, a chain of explosions is initiated from a distance to set off Hamas booby-traps. It is a method that leaves a swath of destruction taking in entire streets, and does not distinguish military targets from the homes of civilians." I’m not sure where the "Georgia" reference comes from: the Israelis used the very same tactics in Jenin and Nablus in 2002, and in southern Lebanon in 2006 and 1982. And it would be an act of futility to point out, for the millionth time, that the Israeli method of warfare takes place in sweeping disregard for the principles of international humanitarian law, not to mention total contempt for innocent human life. This is not to mention that most of the casualties pouring into Gaza’s morgues and hospitals are the victims of the sheer indiscriminate unleashing on densely populated civilian areas of high explosive ordnance from land, sea and air that has been characteristic of Israel’s military style since at least the 1970s." (Saree Makdisi ‘Despite the Bloodshed, Israel is Failing: What Kind of Security Will This Barbarism Bring Israel?’ http://www.counterpunch.org/makdisi01072009.html January 7, 2009).

Zeev Maoz.
"Consider, finally, the tenets of Israeli security doctrine. According to former head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies Zeev Maoz, the anchor of this doctrine is periodic resort to disproportionate firepower. Because key policymakers believe that "Arabs understand only a language of force," he explains, Israel (in their view) "must demonstrate every so often that it is strong and able and willing to use force." On the other hand, Maoz observes, "one almost never hears in Israeli strategic circles that perhaps the reliance on military force as the principal (or even the only) instrument of policy is fundamentally misconceived." Echoing van Creveld, Maoz points to the IDF as the principal instrument of national integration and social cohesion, the "matrix of national identity." In order to preserve the army's centrality in Israeli society, as well as to mobilize the population and divert its attention from internal conflicts, Israeli leaders have fostered a "siege mentality," promoted "militarism," and preferred war to peace. Indeed, Maoz reports that they have utilized murderous reprisal raids for combat training and nurturing esprit de corps, and the theater of war and targeted assassinations for testing high-tech weaponry. "Israel's decision makers tended to overwhelmingly and systematically rely on the use of force," he concludes, as a favorite solution to both military and political challenges. This culture of trigger happiness characterized all of Israel's governments, regardless of period and of the person or party in power." (Norman Finkelstein ‘Pre-Packaged Opinions on Israel and Palestine: Jeffrey Goldberg's Prison’ http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein10062007.html October 6/7, 2007).

The Jews’ "Dahiya strategy".
During the 2006 Lebanon war Israel flattened the southern suburb of Beirut known as the Dahiya, where Hezbollah commanded much popular support. In the war’s aftermath Israeli military officers began referring to the "Dahiya strategy": "We shall pulverize the 160 Shiite villages [in Lebanon] that have turned into Shiite army bases," the IDF Northern Command Chief explained, "and we shall not show mercy when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that, in practice, is controlled by Hezbollah." In the event of hostilities, a reserve Colonel at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies chimed in, Israel needs "to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate …. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes." The new strategy was to be used against all of Israel’s regional adversaries who had waxed defiant, "the Palestinians in Gaza are all Khaled Mashaal, the Lebanese are all Nasrallah, and the Iranians are all Ahmadinejad", but Gaza was the prime target for this blitzkrieg-cum-bloodbath strategy. "Too bad it did not take hold immediately after the ‘disengagement’ from Gaza and the first rocket barrages," a respected Israeli columnist lamented. "Had we immediately adopted the Dahiya strategy, we would have likely spared ourselves much trouble." After a Palestinian rocket attack, Israel’s Interior Minister urged in late September 2008, "the IDF should…decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it." And, insofar as the Dahiya strategy could not be inflicted just yet on Lebanon and Iran, it was predictably pre-tested in Gaza." (Norman Finkelstein ‘Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza: Foiling Another Palestinian "Peace Offensive"’ http://www.counterpunch.com/finkelstein01282009.html January 28, 2009).

Operation Accountability in Lebanon, 1993.
Neve Gordon.
"Three years earlier, in Operation Accountability, Israel killed 120 civilians and displaced 300,000 more." (Neve Gordon ‘From Ghettos to Frontiers’ A review of ‘Frontiers and Ghettos’ by James Ron http://www.counterpunch.org/gordon05192005.html May 19, 2005).

Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon, 1996.
Ran HaCohen.
"Ehud Barak will be remembered in Israel's history as the one who introduced the abuse of innocent civilians as political cards. Barak was probably not the first Israeli warrior to abuse civilians on a tactical level, but he was the one who turned it into a central Israeli strategy. Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon, in 1996, with Barak as an influential cabinet member, openly targeted civilians, turning them into refugees to make them put pressure on Beirut's government. The recent siege on Gaza follows a similar logic: put pressure on civilians to achieve political goals. (A clear war crime, it goes without saying.)" (Ran HaCohen ‘Israel Says 'No'’ http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/?articleid=12384 February 19, 2008);

Neve Gordon.
"In the fifteen-day operation dubbed Grapes of Wrath (1996) the Israeli air-force carried out 600 sorties, the military fired 25,000 artillery shells, killed 154 civilians, and displaced 400,000 Lebanese." (Neve Gordon ‘From Ghettos to Frontiers’ A review of ‘Frontiers and Ghettos’ by James Ron http://www.counterpunch.org/gordon05192005.html May 19, 2005).

Jews fire 1,300,000 bullets during first few days of Intifada.
Khalid Amayreh.
"Malka, in an interview with the Israeli paper Ha'aretz on 14 June, revealed that during the first few days of the intifada, Israeli occupation soldiers fired 1,300,000 bullets on Palestinian population centres and other targets. This massive firepower, which had no operational justification given the Palestinians' inherently inferior firepower (they possessed only light firearms and in limited numbers), showed that the Israeli army was interested more in decimating and harming the Palestinians and less in ending the violence. According to Israeli sources, then-Chief of Staff and now Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz didn't plan to bring about the end of the conflict. Instead, he thought he had finally seized the opportunity to "beat and vanquish" the Palestinians in order to "burn into their consciousness" and make them "internalise their weakness and inferiority vis-a-vis Israel's strength". Mofaz's ultimate aim, of which he later convinced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was to hector Palestinians into negotiations in a weakened and exhausted state whereby they would have no choice but to accept Israel's dictates and demands. The new revelations, Palestinian officials argue, prove that the escalation of violence during the first few months of the intifada was, first and foremost, Israel's responsibility. "This is what we have been saying all along that this is not about Israeli security but rather about Israel's terrorising the Palestinian people for the purpose of arrogating their land and rights. Israel is now admitting that," said Michael Tarazi, adviser to Palestinian Authority leader Yasir Arafat." (Khalid Amayreh ‘The second intifada, an Israeli strategy’ July 04, 2004).

Lebanon 2006.
Alexander Cockburn.
"Now Israel says it wants to wipe out Hezbollah. It wishes no harm to the people of Lebanon, just so long as they’re not supporters of Hezbollah, or standing anywhere in the neighborhood of a person or a house or a car or a truck or a road or a bus or a field, or a power station or a port that might, in the mind of an Israeli commander or pilot, have something to do with Hezbollah. In any of those eventualities all bets are off. You or your wife or your mother or your baby get fried." (Alexander Cockburn ‘Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know’ http://www.counterpunch.org/Cockburn07212006.html July 21, 2006).

Omar Barghouti.
"This intentional and coldly calculated Israeli policy of targeting innocent Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure stems from a time-honoured, but hardly ever successful, Israeli doctrine of applying intense "pressure" against a civilian population in order to compel them, in-turn, to pressure the resistance into submitting to Israeli dictates, thereby doing Israel's bidding by proxy. It has been consistently used against the Palestinians ever since the Nakba of 1948, and is still applied now in the ongoing barbaric offensive and hermetic siege against Gaza. Israel may have plagiarized this doctrine from the legacies of previous oppressors, but it has refined it to a degree that it no longer raises any moral qualms in most of Israeli society, where it is widely accepted by the public as a right, even a duty in the fight for Israel's "security."" (Omar Barghouti ‘The Massacre at Qana’ http://www.counterpunch.org/barghouti08012006.html August 01 2006).

Saree Makdisi.
"That was on August 30, by which time U.N. teams had identified 359 separate cluster-bomb sites. Since then, the true dimensions of the problem have become even clearer: 770 cluster-bomb sites have now been identified. And the current U.N. estimate is that Israel dropped between 2 million and 3 million bomblets on Lebanon, of which up to a million have yet to explode." (Saree Makdisi ‘Israel's Cluster Bomb War’ http://www.counterpunch.org/makdisi10232006.html October 23, 2006).

Gilad Atzmon.
"As Limor and Shelah reveal, in spite of the fact that the conflict on the ground took place on a very narrow strip of land (the Israeli border on the south and Litani River on the north), the Israeli artillery had managed to shoot over 170,000 shells. In comparison, in the 1973 war while fighting against two strong state armies over two very large fronts, the Israelis had launched only 53,000 shells. The figures relating to the Air Force are even more striking. Though less than a few concrete targets were available for the IDF intelligence, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) had launched as many as 17,550 combat missions, this translates into 520 missions a day, almost as many as in the 1973 war (605 a day). Yet, in 1973 the IAF was fighting two well-equipped air forces, it was engaged in a fair amount of air-to-air combat and a relentless struggle against the latest Soviet ground-to-air missiles. None of that happened in the Second Lebanon War. The IAF was engaged solely in hammering the Lebanese soil. It literally threw and launched everything it had in its disposal, presenting a merciless method that in places (southern Beirut for instance), had a similar effect to the infamous 1940s Anglo-American carpet bombardment." (Gilad Atzmon ‘Saying NO to the Hunters of Goliath’ http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2007/08/gilad-atzmon-saying-no-to-hunters-of.html August 13, 2007).

Matan Vilnai et al demands Shoah Business in Gaza.
"Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s much publicized remark last week about Gaza facing a "shoah", the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, was widely assumed to be unpleasant hyperbole about the army’s plans for an imminent full-scale invasion of the Strip. More significantly, however, his comment offers a disturbing indication of the Israeli army’s longer-term strategy towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Vilnai, a former general, was interviewed by Army Radio as Israel was in the midst of unleashing a series of air and ground strikes on populated areas of Gaza that killed more than 100 Palestinians, at least half of whom were civilians and 25 of whom were children, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. Vilnai stated: "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they [the Palestinians of Gaza] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." His comment, picked up by the Reuters wire service, was soon making headlines around the world. Presumably uncomfortable with a senior public figure in Israel comparing his government’s policies to the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jewry, many news services referred to Vilnai’s clearly articulated threat as a "warning", as though he was prophesying a cataclysmic natural event over which he and the Israeli army had no control. Nonetheless, officials understood the damage that the translation from Hebrew of Vilnai’s remark could do to Israel’s image abroad. And sure enough, Palestinian leaders were soon exploiting the comparison, with both the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, stating that a "holocaust" was unfolding in Gaza. Within hours the Israeli Foreign Ministry was launching a large "hasbara" (propaganda) campaign through its diplomats, as the Jerusalem Post reported. In a related move, a spokesman for Vilnai explained that the word "shoah" also meant "disaster"; this, rather than a holocaust, was what the minister had been referring to. Clarifications were issued by many media outlets. However, no one in Israel was fooled. "Shoah", which literally means "burnt offering", was long ago reserved for the Holocaust, much as the Arabic word "nakba" (or "catastrophe") is nowadays used only to refer to the Palestinians’ dispossession by Israel in 1948. Certainly, the Israeli media in English translated Vilnai’s use of "shoah" as "holocaust". In charge of an open-air prison, Hamas has refused to surrender to Israeli diktats and has proven invulnerable to Israeli and US machinations to topple it. Instead it has begun advancing the only two feasible forms of resistance available: rocket attacks over the fence surrounding Gaza, and popular mass action. Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jersualem, noted that this scenario "frightens the army more than a violent conflict with armed Palestinians". Israel fears that the sight of unarmed women and children being executed for the crime of trying to free themselves from the prison Israel has built for them may give the lie to the idea that the disengagement ended the occupation. Vilnai’s remark hints at that solution, as do a series of comments from cabinet ministers over the past few weeks proposing war crimes to stop the rockets. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, for example, has said that Gazans cannot be allowed "to live normal lives"; Internal Security Minister, Avi Dichter, believes Israel should take action "irrespective of the cost to the Palestinians"; and the Interior Minister, Meir Sheetrit, suggests the Israeli army should "decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it" after each attack." (Jonathan Cook ‘Israel Plots Another Palestinian Exodus: The Meaning of Gaza's 'Shoah'’ http://www.counterpunch.com/cook03082008.html March 8-9, 2008).

Gaza, December 2008.
Thomas Friedman, Jewish state terrorism to educate resistors.
"Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians, the families and employers of the militants, to restrain Hezbollah in the future. In Gaza, I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to "educate" Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims." (Thomas Friedman ‘Israel’s Goals in Gaza?’ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/opinion/14friedman.html?_r=1 January 13, 2009).

James Petras.
"Israel’s defense ministry spokesman has emphatically reiterated the Jewish’s state’s totalitarian war concept emphasizing the targeting of civilians: "Hamas has used ostensibly civilian operations as a cover for military activities. Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target." Moving directly from its totalitarian vision to its military blueprint to the savaging of Palestinian population centers, the Jewish state destroyed the principle university with over 18,000 students (mostly women), mosques, pharmacies, electrical and water lines, power stations, fishing villages, fishing boats and the little fishing port that provided a meager supply of fish for the starving population. They destroyed roads, transport facilities, food warehouses, science buildings, small factories, shops and apartments. They destroyed a women’s dormitory at the university. In the words of the Israel leader: "…because everything is connected to everything…" it is necessary to destroy each and every facet of life, which allows humans to exist with some dignity and independence. The vile depravity of the assault on the defenseless population is matched by the utter cowardice of the Israeli military command and its cheering bloodthirsty public ensconced behind their aerial monopoly. They suffered no threats of aerial retaliation, no wounded or dead pilots, helicopter gunners, as wave after wave swept in and over a defenseless imprisoned population in a crowded and besieged ghetto." (James Petras ‘The Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign: Backers, Apologists and Arms Suppliers’ January 2, 2009).

Avi Shlaim.
"Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong - period. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Even by official estimates, almost half of the working-age population in Gaza is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment which is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law." (Avi Shlaim ‘Israel and Gaza: rhetoric and reality’ http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/israel-and-gaza-rhetoric-and-reality January 07, 2009).

Martin Kramer.
"As the pro-Israeli analyst Martin Kramer observes in his blog, economic sanctions against Gaza, that is, pressure on the civilian population, are an integral and entirely legitimate aim of Israeli policy. "Were Israel to lift the economic sanctions," Kramer writes, "It would transform Hamas control of Gaza into a permanent fact, solidify the division of the West Bank and Gaza, and undermine both Israel and Abbas by showing that violent 'resistance' to Israel produces better results than peaceful compromise and cooperation. Rewarding 'resistance' just produces more of it. So Israel's war aim is very straightforward, and it is not simply a total ceasefire. At the very least, it is a total ceasefire that also leaves the sanctions against Hamas in place. This would place Israel in an advantageous position to bring about the collapse of Hamas rule some time in the future, its long-term objective."" (Spengler ‘Suicide by Israel’ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KA08Ak01.html January 08, 2009).

Spengler, a little more mass slaughter please.
"For the moment, Israel is treating Hamas as a state rather than as a state actor. As in any war, economic pressure on the civilian population, as well as military operations that kill civilians as collateral damage to the pursuit of military objectives, are legitimate instruments of warfare. It is hypocrisy to pretend otherwise. Perhaps what the Middle East requires in order to achieve a peace settlement is not less killing, but more. That is horrifying, but nonetheless true, and the international community simply may have to raise its threshold of horror." (Spengler ‘Suicide by Israel’ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KA08Ak01.html January 08, 2009).

Yoel Marcus.
"Can someone please explain to me what Yoel Marcus means when he says, "Killing children is a matter of politics" in his Ha'aretz article titled, "It's not Israel's fault it has a strong, well-run army"? Then: "The smartest move now is not to give in to the bleeding hearts who have lost their nerve..." O.K. Got it now. Killing children is a matter of politics." (Adam Horowitz ‘'Killing children is a matter of politics'’ http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/01/killing-children-is-a-matter-of-politics.html January 13, 2009).

Glenn Greenwald.
"The war strategy which Friedman is heralding, what he explicitly describes with euphemism-free candor as "exacting enough pain on civilians" in order to teach them a lesson, is about as definitive of a war crime as it gets. It also happens to be the classic, textbook definition of "terrorism." It should be emphasized that the mere fact that Tom Friedman claims that this is Israel's motivation isn't proof that it is. The sociopathic lust of a single war cheerleader can't fairly be projected onto those who are actually prosecuting the war. But one can't help noticing that this "teach-them-a-lesson" justification for civilian deaths in Gaza appears with some frequency among its advocates, at least among a certain strain of super-warrior, Israel-centric Americans, e.g.: Marty "do not fuck with the Jews" Peretz and Michael "to wipe out a man's entire family, it's hard to imagine that doesn't give his colleagues at least a moment's pause" Goldfarb, who love to cheer on Middle East wars from a safe and sheltered distance. One might ordinarily find it surprising that our elite opinion-makers are so openly and explicitly advocating war crimes and terrorism ("inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large" and "'educate' Hamas by inflicting heavy pain on the Gaza population"). But when one considers that most of this, in the U.S., is coming from the very people who applied the same "suck-on-this" reasoning to justify the destruction of Iraq, and even more so, when one considers that our highest political officials are now so openly, even proudly, acknowledging their own war crimes, while our political and media elites desperately (and almost unanimously) engage in every possible maneuver to protect them from any consequences from that, Friedman's explicit advocacy of these sorts of things is a perfectly natural thing to see." (Glenn Greenwald ‘Tom Friedman offers a perfect definition of "terrorism"’ http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/01/14/friedman/ January 14, 2009).

John J. Mearsheimer.
The best evidence, however, that Israel is deliberately seeking to punish the broader population in Gaza is the death and destruction the IDF has wrought on that small piece of real estate. Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians and wounded more than 4,000. Over half of the casualties are civilians, and many are children. The IDF’s opening salvo on Dec. 27 took place as children were leaving school, and one of its primary targets that day was a large group of graduating police cadets, who hardly qualified as terrorists. In what Ehud Barak called "an all-out war against Hamas," Israel has targeted a university, schools, mosques, homes, apartment buildings, government offices, and even ambulances. A senior Israeli military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, explained the logic behind Israel’s expansive target set: "There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel." In other words, everyone is a terrorist and everything is a legitimate target." (John J. Mearsheimer ‘Another War, Another Defeat’ http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/jan/26/00006/ January 26, 2009)

Uri Avnery.
"Our leaders are now boasting about their part in the Gaza War, in which unbridled military force was unleashed intentionally against a civilian population, men, women, and children, with the declared aim of "creating deterrence." In the era that began last Tuesday, such expressions can only arouse shudders." (Uri Avnery ‘On the Wrong Side’ http://www.antiwar.com/avnery/?articleid=14134 January 26, 2009); "The war plan included a massive attack on the civilian population of the Strip. The real aims of a war can be understood less from the official declarations of its initiators than from their actions. If in this war some 1,300 men, women, and children were killed, the great majority of whom were not fighters; if about 5,000 people were injured, most of them children; if some 2,500 homes were partly or wholly destroyed; if the infrastructure of life was totally demolished, all this clearly could not have happened accidentally. It must have been a part of the war plan." (Uri Avnery ‘The Black Flag Is Waving’ http://www.antiwar.com/avnery/?articleid=14176 February 2, 2009).

Norman Finkelstein.
"New York Times foreign affairs expert Thomas Friedman joined in the chorus of hallelujahs. Israel in fact won the 2006 Lebanon war, according to Friedman, because it had inflicted "substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large," thereby administering an "education" to Hezbollah: fearing the Lebanese people’s wrath, Hezbollah would "think three times next time" before defying Israel. He expressed hope that Israel was likewise "trying to ‘educate’ Hamas by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population." To justify the targeting of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure Friedman asserted that Israel had no other option because "Hezbollah created a very ‘flat’ military network…deeply embedded in the local towns and villages," and that because "Hezbollah nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians…to restrain Hezbollah in the future." Leaving aside Friedman’s hollow coinages, what does "flat" mean?, and leaving aside that he alleged that the killing of civilians was unavoidable but also recommends targeting civilians as a "deterrence" strategy: is it even true that Hezbollah was "embedded in," "nested among," and "intertwined" with the Lebanese civilian population? If Israel targeted the Lebanese civilian population and infrastructure during the 2006 war, it was not because it had no choice, and not because Hezbollah had provoked it, but because terrorizing the civilian population was a relatively cost-free method of "education," much to be preferred over fighting a real foe and suffering heavy casualties, although Hezbollah’s unexpectedly fierce resistance prevented Israel from achieving a victory on the battlefield." (Norman Finkelstein ‘Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza: Foiling Another Palestinian "Peace Offensive"’ http://www.counterpunch.com/finkelstein01282009.html January 28, 2009).

The operative plan for the Gaza bloodbath can be gleaned from authoritative statements after the war got underway: "What we have to do is act systematically with the aim of punishing all the organizations that are firing the rockets and mortars, as well as the civilians who are enabling them to fire and hide" (reserve Major-General); "After this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza" (Deputy IDF Chief of Staff); "Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target" (IDF Spokesperson’s Office). Whereas Israel killed a mere 55 Lebanese during the first two days of the 2006 war, the Israeli media exulted at Israel’s "shock and awe" (Maariv) as it killed more than 300 Palestinians in the first two days of the attack on Gaza. Several days into the slaughter an informed Israeli strategic analyst observed, "The IDF, which planned to attack buildings and sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, and succeeded." Morris could barely contain his pride at "Israel’s highly efficient air assault on Hamas." The Israeli columnist B. Michael was less impressed by the dispatch of helicopter gunships and jet planes "over a giant prison and firing at its people", for example, "70…traffic cops at their graduation ceremony, young men in desperate search of a livelihood who thought they’d found it in the police and instead found death from the skies." (Norman Finkelstein ‘Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza: Foiling Another Palestinian "Peace Offensive"’ http://www.counterpunch.com/finkelstein01282009.html January 28, 2009).

The Jewish Military’s chief chaplain, Rabbi Avichai Rontzki: ‘Christians show mercy, Jews don’t’.
"Israel's chief military chaplain distributed a booklet to soldiers fighting in the Gaza conflict containing a rabbinical edict against showing mercy to enemies, an Israeli human rights group said on Monday. The group, Yesh Din, which says it is dedicated to defending human rights in territory occupied by Israel, called on Defence Minister Ehud Barak to dismiss the chief chaplain, Rabbi Avichai Rontzki, who holds the rank of brigadier general." (‘Gaza war rabbinical edict draws protest in Israel’ http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/01/26/gaza-war-rabbinical-edict-draws-protest-in-israel/ January 26, 2009).

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