27 December 2008

Peace and goodwill on earth (1)

Isra'el, depressingly, does it again.

I am not one of those who weighs numbers or nationalities of dead. Fifty rockets out of Gaza into Isra'el, killing one, are the same thing, in principle, as massive military strikes out of Israel into Gaza, killing two hundred plus. A civilian death is as much a tragedy whether Palestinian or Isra'eli. Two hundred civilian deaths are two hundred tragedies, wherever (and to whoever) they happen.

Politically, though, two hundred civilian deaths and another seven hundred or so injured also mean nine hundred sets of friends, relatives and bystanders with fresh motivation for revenge, and so the cycle escalates. Israel seems unable to learn this simple lesson in psychological arithmetic.

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