For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit its mistakes

Avi Shlaim writes: Israel has a habit of justifying its actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, however illegal and indecent, in the name of security. But denying any security to the other side only perpetuates the conflict.

Five days after reaching a ceasefire with Hamas to end the latest round of fighting in Gaza, the Israeli cabinet decided to appropriate 988 acres of land on the West Bank, near the place where three Israeli teenagers were recently abducted and murdered, to make way for another illegal Jewish city. This is the biggest land grab in three decades. As the justice minister, Tzipi Livni, pointed out: “It was a decision that weakens Israel and damages its security.” What it proves, if further proof is needed, is that Israel’s leaders are determined to prevent a two-state solution to the conflict.

Operation Protective Edge, which came to an end after 50 days of fighting, was the third and deadliest war in six years between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that rules Gaza. Israel lost 66 soldiers and six civilians. On the Palestinian side, the war left 2,104 dead, mostly civilians, and 12,656 injured; 17,000 houses were destroyed or damaged; 520,000 people, out of a population of 1.8 million, were displaced. The damage to buildings and to the civilian infrastructure, estimated at $6bn, will take many years to repair.

What did Israel gain by unleashing the deadly firepower of the IDF against the caged population of this tiny coastal enclave? Virtually nothing. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit its mistakes

  1. BillVZ

    A well written article and spot on. However Israel is never open to criticism much less advice. Netanyahu’s claim to a major military as well as a diplomatic achievement for the state of Israel, as the article attests, was not only hollow but a delusional perception of his mind- 38% approval should alert him. The UN, EU and the U.S. relish slinging economic sanctions on Russia or whoever the U.S. suggests. This is where the international community might aid. It should along with the agencies and their governments hold Israel to account in the way that the South African world boycott action brought down apartheid there years ago. Then perhaps Israel would be open to a plan like that of Avi Shlaim.

  2. rosemerry

    What an excellent Guardian article. if only the “international community” pushes Israel to try a different aproach and stop the fearmongering and pretence that Israel is about to be abolished. Palestine needs to be established as a viable country, not assumed to be a danger and therefore a terrible security burden.

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