How are Israel’s air strikes any different from the militant rocket attacks it so boldly denounces? This is sure to spark a poisoned debate — mostly because the general public is informed only to the extent that Fox News, for example, informs them, but ultimately because the more vocal individuals, the ones who hide behind a charade of objectivity, are just too intolerant and too one-sided to even consider the possibility that there really is another side to the coin, a side that can only be explored if the double standards are dropped and the context is expanded beyond Israel’s immediate borders.
In the wake of the Eilat attacks that killed upwards of eight Israelis on Thursday, August 19, Israeli politicians and their backers quickly issued statements of appeal, citing both their unshakable defense of Israel as well as their intent to, essentially, make “them” pay.
But who is “them”?
Within hours of the Eilat attacks, the government of Israel announced that it had discovered who was behind the attacks and that it would proceed with a timely and justified response. Here is Israel, a beacon of proper self-investigation (see: Goldstone), putting forth the effort to carefully and positively identify those responsible for the damage before retaliating. The United States Congress felt a fatherly goodness for having cultivated such a well-intentioned military machine.
According to the Israeli government (and only the Israeli government), the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) organized the coordinated operations. Their headquarters and training bases would consequently be the prime targets in any forthcoming attack. Moments later, Rafah was bombed. At least six died, dozens injured, and millions more deceived.
According to both Haaretz and Ynet, Israel’s two most prominent daily news agencies, the Eilat attackers were chased down but not apprehended and in the short three hour span between the bus shooting in Israel and the air strikes in Rafah, Israel had no conclusive evidence to link the PRC to the attacks. Its strategy to surgically remove the PRC from the Gaza Strip was based solely on speculation.
Immediately following the Rafah bombings, the stunned PRC declared it played no role in the Eilat attacks and Hamas did the same. Still, armored personnel carriers and infantry units mobilized along the borders of the Gaza Strip and Israeli F-16s and drones loudly took to the skies. [Read more...]