Cross-posted from Wallwritings
Once every two years or so, depending on the U.S. and Israeli strategic and political calendars, Israel, the fourth largest military power in the world, descends on Gaza to "mow the grass."
That obscene phrase, used to describe Israel's military engagements with Gaza, was described by the Jerusalem Post as a legitimate Israeli tactic:
"Israel is acting in accordance with a 'mowing the grass' strategy. After a period of military restraint, Israel is acting to severely punish Hamas for its aggressive behavior, and degrading its military capabilities -- aiming at achieving a period of quiet."
The "mowing the grass" image is an all-out Israeli air and ground attack on a largely helpless civilian population of 1.8 million Palestinians, all of whom are trapped inside prison-like Gaza walls.
Amira Hass, veteran Israeli writer for Ha'aretz, describes how difficult it is for Israel to understand that the Palestinians "refuse occupation."
"There is method in madness, and the Israeli insanity, which refuses to grasp the extent of its revenge in Gaza, has very good reasons for being the way it is.
"The entire nation is the army, the army is the nation, and both are represented by a Jewish-democratic government and a loyal press, and the four of them work together to stave off the great betrayal: the Palestinians' refusal to recognize the normalcy of the situation.- Advertisement -
"The Palestinians are disobedient. They refuse to adapt. This is after we thought it was working for us, with VIP treatment for a few of them and an opportunity for swollen bank accounts for some, and with enormous donations from the United States and Europe that nurture the pockets of imaginary Palestinian rule."
The current conflict is the third time Israel has "mowed the grass" in Gaza since 2007. There are no signs that Palestinians will stop being "disobedient."
The "grass mowing" tactic has worked before for Israel to calm things down to suit Israel's agenda. But it is most certainly not a long term solution. It is also a tactic that always damages Israel's image everywhere, it now seems, except in U.S. political, religious and media circles.
It is difficult to believe Israel lacks the ability to avoid excessive civilian casualties. Amira Hass reports one example that confirms Israel's ability to identify, with precision, what and who, is being targeted. She writes:
"The armed Hamas operatives who emerged from the tunnel shaft on Kibbutz Nir Am on Monday were dressed as Israeli soldiers. Haaretz's Amos Harel writes that in the first moments, the field commanders were not sure whether they were soldiers or terrorists.- Advertisement -
"'Finally, thanks to an aerial photograph taken by a drone, they were found to be Hamas operatives,' writes Harel. 'They were carrying Kalashnikov rifles, which the Israeli army does not use.'
"So the photographs taken by the drone can be very precise when its operators wish. It can discern whether there are children on the seashore or on the roof -- children who, even for the legal acrobats in the Justice Ministry and the army, are not a justifiable target for our bombs.
"The drone can also discern that a rescue team has arrived to pull out wounded people, that families are fleeing their homes. All this can be shown in a close-up photograph taken by a drone, at high enough resolution that the operators of the bombs and the shells have no reason to press the 'kill' button on their keyboards.
"But for some reason, the eye of the drone that can tell the difference between various makes of rifles cannot tell that this figure over here is a child, and that is a mother or a grandmother. Instead, all are given a death sentence."