Even though repeatedly alerted by representatives from Human Rights Watch, Israeli forces continued bombardment of a U.N. compound in Gaza City. Its attacks on citizens who fled to the compound for safety, included bombs with white phosphorous, which is prohibited in populated areas. After the fact, Israel's Prime Minister apologized, and claimed that Israel had been attacked from the U.N. refuge center. Gaza health officials have stated that 70 people died as a result of the attacks, and as of this date, over 1000 have been killed, including children and women. Israeli shelling also hit a hospital, setting it on fire, and a location which housed world media. The article reporting this instances also states that Human Rights Watch is unable to conduct a full investigation into Israel's alleged war crimes because it has been denied safe access to Gaza by Israel.
So Israel apologizes and then blames. Who can absorb this information and not see that something is terribly wrong?
The "laws of war," as adopted by the international community, prohibit "indiscriminate attacks," those very same bombardments that Israel has rained down on the citizens of the Gaza strip. Why is Israel immune to these laws? Of course, the whole idea of having laws regulating warfare is high irony. But they are in place and as a member of the world community, Israel is subject to their regulations just as is Hamas.
My moderate reaction to what Israel has been doing -- "moderate" because my visceral response is not acceptable for public dialogue -- is that the government conducts itself according to whim. A shame Israeli officials do not adhere to Proverbs: “Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard bones. (Proverbs 28:13)” or “Seek peace, and pursue it. (Proverbs 34:14)”
I also see Israel's attack on the Gaza strip as intimately related to the change in the U.S. administration. Is there any doubt that the country began its attack in the final days of the Bush presidency, knowing well that Bush would not intervene and that Obama has no authority to intervene? Its actions are on a par with Bush's attacks in the Mideast, which were nothing more than the last, greedy grasp for petroleum resources before the greening of the globe becomes mandatory.
Mostly, I see Israel as a bully state, bluffing its rationale for killing civilians with the weak premise that it was under attack. More and more, it seems that Bush and Israel read from the same blood-tainted script.