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War in Gaza – a vicious folly of a bankrupt govt.

Gush Shalom press release, December 27, 2008

The war in Gaza – a vicious folly of a bankrupt government

Bloodshed and suffering on both sides of the border could have been avoided

It is possible to return immediately to the ceasefire, make it stronger and firmer

The war in Gaza, the bloodshed, killing, destruction and suffering on both sides of the border are the vicious folly of a bankrupt government. A government which let itself be dragged by adventurous officers and cheap nationalist demagoguery, dragged into a destructive and unnecessary war which will bring no solution to any problem – neither to the communities of southern Israel under the rain of missiles nor to the terrible poverty and suffering of besieged Gaza. On the day after the war the same problems will remain – with the addition of many bereaved families, wounded people crippled for life, and piles of rubble and destruction.

The escalation towards war could and should have been avoided. It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the 'ticking tunnel' raid on the night of the US elections two months ago. Since then the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased.

The cycle of bloodshed could and should be broken. The ceasefire can be restored immediately, and on firmer foundations. It is the right of Israel to demand a complete end to shooting on its territory and citizens – but it must stop all attacks from its side, end completely the siege and starvation of Gaza's million and half inhabitants, and stop interfering with the Palestinians' right to choose their own leaders.

Ehud Barak's declaration that he is stopping the elections campaign in order to concentrate on the Gaza offensive is a joke. The war in Gaza is itself Barak's elections campaign, a cynical attempt to buy votes with the blood and suffering in Netivot and Sderot, Gaza and Beit Hanun. Also so-called peace seekers such as Amos Oz s who give this offensive their support and encouragement could not afterwards shrug off responsibility.

ENDS

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