18 June 2006

The tragedy on the Gaza beach

I am touching upon this subject with mixed feelings. There is no doubt that what happened is a tragedy, no matter who caused the death of the family: IDF shell or Hamas mine.

The subject of an independent inquiry into the facts of the Gaza beach killings is bandied as a central to the whole issue. Judy of Adloyada analyses the issue, making a strong case against such inquiry. Norm has another opinion on this.

I am not at all sure that IDF report is of value. Military all over the world are past masters of whitewashing, and the famous "omerta" of Sicilian mafia has nothing on the unwritten military code of sudden mental paralysis of all parties involved in an investigation of a wrongdoing by their own. On the other hand, the myth of the "independent" inquiry is no less absurd, as Judy has shown in that post. But the crucial point is that, no matter what the conclusions of the inquiry (any inquiry) will be, they will be summarily rejected by the party the accusing finger will point to.

I am listening to the heated discussions on Israeli TV and radio, with politicians of different ilk saying precisely what is expected of them, reading/watching foreign media with politicians and other interested parties blaming or defending this or other side. The strange thing is that the intensity of the discussion and its focus on the issue of guilt assignment are such that an outside observer may deduce that an extraordinary event occurred between two generally friendly countries, and the moment this event comes to a conclusion and the facts are established, peace and calm shall return to reign again.

This self-delusion is worthy of an in-depth psychiatric research, but how about looking the truth in the eyes for a few seconds? Gaza was vacated by IDF in the hope that, as a model of a newly hatched independent Palestinian society it will be also a model of the neighborhood relationships and peaceful co-existence of the two states.

Unfortunately, our neighbors are intent on proving the opposite, and instead of peaceful co-existence we have a war on our hands. And if anyone has a hope that the Gaza beach tragedy is the last of its kind, that anyone is either seriously deluded or trying to delude.

Instead of wasting UN time and money on this investigation, Koffi Anan will do more good trying to explain this to our Gazan neighbors and to their supporters. No sham ceasefire will be enough, and while the steady rain of Qassams, border attacks and other attempts to kill more Jooz continue, the war will continue. And the tragic stories of the kind we are discussing here will happen again and again.

As it happens, I have just received a link (hat tip to Andrew Ian Dodge) to an article by Perry de Havilland that I completely agree with.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com