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Friday, July 07, 2006

Gaza's electric supply

The Boston Globe weighs in today with an outrageous editorial against Israel's bombing Gaza's only power plant ten days ago:
But there can be no justification for Israel's collective punishment of at least half of the civilian population in Gaza. The worst of that punishment comes not from the firing of missiles and artillery, nor from the sonic booms that frighten children at night and keep their parents from sleeping. The worst has been Israel's bombing of the one power plant that supplies electricity to some 700,000 of Gaza's 1.3 million people.

Without power, people in Gaza are deprived of air conditioners, fans, and refrigerators on stifling days and nights. Worse yet, Gaza's water supply must be pumped and purified by electricity. An already poor sewage system has ceased to function. If nothing is done to remedy the situation, families in Gaza will soon be without electricity or gas to boil unpurified water. They will be unable to refrigerate or cook what food they have been able to hoard for an emergency. If they ingest unpurified water, they risk an outbreak of diseases, including cholera. And without electricity, Gaza's hospitals and clinics cannot treat the sick.
Gaza's 'civilian' population shelters terrorists. Under the Geneva Convention, terrorists may not hide among civilians in order to shield themselves from reprisals. If they do, a state's uniformed army is allowed to go after them - even among the civilian population. How does the Globe suggest that Israel get the message through to the 'civilians' that they are endangering their lives if they shelter the terrorists? By dropping chocolate bars from the skies?

Even one writer at al-Guardian recognized that targeting the power plant 'made humanitarian sense.' Although I did not run this article earlier this week when it appeared - because frankly I don't agree with much of what was written - I will quote from it now:

Yesterday's Guardian leader on Israel's military offensive in Gaza included the statement that the missile attack on the power plant made no military sense. I dispute this interpretation on the grounds that causing short-term civil chaos in urban communities makes violent resistance less likely. Whatever the rights or wrongs of Israeli policy, the targeting of power stations makes perfect military sense provided certain conditions are met. If it helps keep down the body count, and the Israelis are prepared to help with immmediate post-offensive reconstruction, I would say that the attack on the Gaza power plant also makes humanitarian sense.

The Geneva Conventions forbid military activities that deprive non-combatant civilians of essential items and services. The question is: did the Israeli destruction of the power transformers breach the Conventions? Based on what has been reported so far, the answer is no. Gaza gets around 60 percent of its electricity from Israel, and although the loss of Gaza's sole power station has caused serious inconvenience to the region's 1.4 million residents, it should not make impossible the extraction and purification of water, and power supply to hospitals, as backup generators for such critical services are considered the norm in civilised societies.
Lots of people in this part of the world live without air conditioning (including yours truly). If it's between air conditioning and clean water, the choice should be obvious.

The current battle was caused solely by 'Palestinian' actions: the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, and the incessant and unprovoked Kassam attacks that have rained down on Israel endlessly, even once Gaza had been made Judenrein last August. If the 'Palestinians' were not so busy trying to destroy the State of Israel, they could have made progress in building their own state in the last year. But they have made their choices, and now they should live with the consequences. The Globe seems to have missed that.


At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'collective punishment' - seems that's the new buzz word of the LLL. sounds so good.

so how about some others -
'collective support'
'collective propaganda'
'collective responsibility'
to describe the Pali's

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Dave said...

As a Boston Globe subscriber for over 22 years, I could not agree with you more. I have put up with their left-slanted editorials and Op-Ed articles for years, and have even tolerated their left-wing slant that extended even to their news coverage, but I have just recently gotten fed up and canceled my subscription. The Boston Globe is a New York Times Co., and this is my only way to strike back at them for their revealing of classified secrets in the war against terror. I will have to print out their online Op-Ed pieces myself, as my parrot still needs a toilet. Thanks for your coverage of the situation in Israel. I visit your site daily.


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