While Lebanon’s death by thousand cuts fills the news, the Israeli ravaging of Gaza continues unabated:
The United Nations has called on world leaders not to forget the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it is at least as serious as that in southern Lebanon.
Thirty aid agencies backed the appeal, and one charity spoke of a sense among aid agencies that Gaza’s population was being terrorised.
Since the power station has been destroyed, much of the population has no electricity or clean water, causing fear of epidemics. Worse, people are kept on the brink of starvation as Israel lets in far too few aid trucks.
According to the UN, the tiny area is bombarded with some 150 artillery shells a day. An equal number of people have been killed over the past month, including one child on average per day. In the latest round of violence a young woman and a 14-year old boy were shelled to death; four others were injured.
The Independent (subscription) describes this situation as threatening “total breakdown of the fabric of society”:
A 12-year-old boy dead on a stretcher. A mother in shock and disbelief after her son was shot dead for standing on their roof. A phone rings and a voice in broken Arabic orders residents to abandon their home on pain of death.
Those are snapshots of a day in Gaza where Israel is waging a hidden war, as the world looks the other way, focusing on Lebanon.
It is a war of containment and control that has turned the besieged Strip into a prison with no way in or out, and no protection from an fearsome battery of drones, precision missiles, tank shells and artillery rounds.
As of last night, 29 people had been killed in the most concentrated 48 hours of violence since an Israeli soldier was abducted by Palestinian militants just more than a month ago.
The operation is codenamed “Samson’s Pillars”, a collective punishment of the 1.4 million Gazans, subjecting them to a Lebanese-style offensive that has targeted the civilian infrastructure by destroying water mains, the main power station and bridges.
How grotesquely appropriate to name it “Samson’s Pillars.” Here’s what Samson, according to myth, accomplished in Gaza:
And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Sounds like terrorism, no? How would we characterize such a person today?
Samson ‘was mentally ill’
Dr Eric Altschuler, from the University of California, in San Diego, claims that instead of being a hero, Samson was actually mentally ill.
In a report in the New Scientist, Dr Altschuler said that in today’s society Samson would be seen as “a bit of a thug”.
Dr Altschuler said Samson routinely got into fights, killed 1,000 Philistines single-handedly and then gloated over it and showed no remorse.
Kevin Gibson, a consultant clinical psychologist and head of adult psychology at Sunderland Hospitals Trust, said society would view Samson in a different light today.
“Today we would see his ruthlessness and exploitiveness as having a personality disorder,” he said.
When it comes to the current government of Israel, some of us do.
Adapted from my blog.