After the ‘Military Targets’ Run Out
Gershon Shafir has a really perceptive post at the group-blog adjunct to Informed Comment asking what happens in Gaza as the Israeli bombing progresses past its third day. Consider:
First, Israel is about to exhaust obvious and legitimate military targets, especially those available for aerial bombardment, even under their broadest interpretation. Admittedly Hamas never seriously tried to separate its political and military wings–unlike, say, the Basque nationalist ETA (who have had both the clandestine ETA and various incarnations of the Hari Batasuna Party) or the Irish Republicans (who had the IRA and the Sinn Fein Party), partly because it does not really have a political strategy distinct from its military one. Even so, bombing Hamas police stations and Hamas’s organizational structure is different from striking the Hamas broadcasting center, let alone the Islamic University in Gaza City. Attacking distinctly civilian targets and the infrastructure of civil life is a potential war crime. It is also counterproductive. The number of civilian casualties will rise, and the international community will be mobilized to chip away at the immunity Israel now seems to possess in targeting Hamas.
For those not inclined to listen to stuff like this unless it condemns Hamas, don’t worry, Shafir condemns Hamas:
Hamas’s alleged pragmatism has evaporated since its coup and we are left with the reality of an exclusively military world view. The consequences have been disastrous for Palestinians, not just for Israelis. But deploring this reality is less important than facing up to it.
Can we go back to acting like grown-ups now?