September 02, 2007

Why Israel kills children

Thanks again to Hulkagaard in the comments for linking to this Gideon Levy article in Ha'aretz on the Israeli army's propensity for killing children.
Again children. Five children killed in Gaza in eight days. The public indifference to their killing - the last three, for example, were accorded only a short item on the margins of page 11 in Yedioth Ahronoth, a sickening matter in itself - cannot blur the fact that the IDF is waging a war against children. A year ago, a fifth of those killed in the "Summer Rain" operation in Gaza were children; during the past two weeks, they comprised a quarter of the 21 killed. If, heaven forbid, children are hurt in Sderot, we will have to remember this before we begin raising hell.

The IDF explains that the Palestinians make a practice of sending children to collect the Qassam launchers. However, in this case, the children killed were not collecting launchers. The first two were killed while collecting carob fruit and the next three - according to the IDF's own investigation - were playing tag. But even if we accept the IDF's claim that there is a general trend of sending children to collect launchers (which has not been proven), that should have brought about an immediate halt to firing at launcher collectors.

But the IDF does not care whether its victims are liable to be children. The fact is that it shoots at figures it considers suspicious, with full knowledge - according to its own contention - that they are liable to be children. Therefore, an IDF that fires at launcher collectors is an army that kills children, without any intention of preventing this. This then is not a series of unfortunate mistakes, as it is being portrayed, but rather reflects the army's contempt for the lives of Palestinian children and its terrifying indifference to their fate.
Now in medieval times Jews were falsely accused of killing Christian children for ritual purposes. This was a bogus charge about an annual ritual. Now the State of Israel is making the killing of non-Jewish children a near daily ritual. And why? Levy goes on to point out that during the onslaught against Gaza last year (Summer Rain was the obscene name they chose for that operation) one in five of Israel's victims were children and that just lately they have closed the ratio to one in four. Is it a deterrent? It doesn't seem to be deterring. Is it a cull? Does it make Israeli Jews feel safe? Is it, as they say, good for Jews? Some Israeli decision-makers clearly believe so.

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