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Friday, August 25, 2006

Targeting Civilians

Our nemesis JIMB kept trying to hint that we must, you know, be the "anti-s" word for implying that the Israeli government attacks civilians in war. But, as Sheldon Richman reports, the Israeli government itself does not agree with him:

"In 1978, after a major Israeli incursion into Lebanon, Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur bluntly told the press, "For 30 years, from the War of Independence until today, we have been fighting against a population that lives in villages and cities. " Gur cited as examples of Israel's previous campaigns against civilians the bombing of villages on the east side of the Jordan valley and the shelling of towns in the Suez Canal area in the years after the Six-Day War. These acts of terror drove more than a million and a half Jordanians and Egyptians from their homes.

"At the time of the Israeli general's statement, Israel's most respected military journalist, Ze'ev Schiff, wrote, "The importance of Gur's remarks is the admission that the Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets ... [but] purposely attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been struck."

"This is the policy that Moshe Sharett, Israel's first foreign minister, critically dubbed "sacred terrorism." [Read excerpts from Sharett's diary here.] The doctrine is found in the thinking of Israel's founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and in the military actions approved by both major governing blocs. In 1981, when the Labor Party criticized then Prime Minister Menachem Begin for his bombing of Beirut, which killed civilians indiscriminately, he responded by listing some of the civilian attacks perpetrated by previous Labor governments. "There were regular retaliatory actions against civilian Arab populations," Begin said."

3 comments:

  1. "Our nemesis JIMB kept trying to hint that we must, you know, be the "anti-s" word for implying that the Israeli government attacks civilians in war."

    1. Why "implying"?
    2. Who is JIMB?

    Julius

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Julius.
    1. Um, bad writing?
    2. JIMB never revealed his identity, but he haunted this blog for several weeks, taunting Bob and me.

    ReplyDelete