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Saturday, January 10

Atrocity

It's a word that isn't used much any more, as people have seemed to have become inured to seeing or experiencing atrocious things in their daily lives. But it's a word that I'll use to describe what apparently happened on January 4th in the Gaza Strip town of Zeitun.

According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the Israeli Army herded some 110 Palestinians into a single-story house, ostensibly for their safety. That safety was rendered illusory about twenty-four hours later when IDF artillery shelled the house, killing thirty of the civilians inside. Compounding it, the UN and medical teams were blocked from entering the area.

Now, this is based on "several testimonies," according to the report, meaning of course that the IDF and its American apologists will be quick to counter that it's propaganda. But the IDF has already fessed up that it blew away five of its own soldiers due to 'friendly' fire, which doesn't bode well for its ability to distinguish between a legitimate target and noncombatants.

Interviews with Israeli civilians make it sound like some of the conversations I've had at work with people (some of whom are Gulf War vets, or ex-military) - a lot of racist rhetoric about "Hajjis" and "Sand ni**ers." Further indications of this attitude are found in such phrases as "they don't have the same vaules we have," "they don't value life like we do," and the ever-popular "force is the only thing these people understand."

These are absurdities.

And if people believe in absurdities, they can be convinced to commit atrocities.

Res ipsa loquitur.

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