The Journal of History     Spring 2003     TABLE OF CONTENTS

Another Painful and Terrible Proof
That There is No Military Solution

By Gush Shalom
January 6, 2003

The terrible assault on random civilians in south Tel-Aviv, which deserves full and unqualified condemnation, once again gives a painful proof that there is no military solution to the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians rebelling against its military rule.

In April 2002, during the so-called "Operation Defensive Shield," then Army Chief-of-Staff Mofaz who is now Minister of Defense claimed confidently that two months of unrestricted Israeli control over the Palestinian cities would suffice to "root out terrorism." Since then the armed forces of Israel have had more than half a year of complete control over the Palestinian cities, and an unhindered freedom to "take preventive action." The generals were able to maintain prolonged closures, sieges and curfews, driving hundreds of thousands to the edge of starvation; they conducted raids night by night, dragging off thousands to detention in crowded camps, more than a thousand of them held under "administrative detention" without trial; they demolished hundreds of homes, throwing thousands of people off into the street; they killed hundreds of Palestinians - "suspected terrorists" who were the target of repeated "targeted killings" or were killed "while trying to escape" as well as completely innocent civilians - babies and children, pregnant women and octogenarians, all killed in the course of an endless series of "regrettable accidents" and "collateral damages." All of these measures - which Sharon, Mofaz, and Netanyahu now vow to further extend - did not break Palestinian resistance. On the contrary: they sowed greater and greater hatred, facilitating the mobilization of yet more suicide bombers, motivated by anger and despair to sow further random death and destruction.

Only the resumption of a genuine negotiating process, giving Palestinians an tangible hope for an end to the occupation, could dry up the the well-springs from which the dark stream of suicide bombers issues.

Many of the victims of yesterday's despicable attack are migrant workers living in the slums of South Tel-Aviv. Rumanians, Bulgarians and Ghanaians were killed, and citizen of many other impoverished countries were wounded. Many of them feared to approach the hospitals and get treatment, for fear of being picked up by the notorious Immigration Police and being deported. It is a tragedy and irony that these people, themselves the victims of daily racism in the Israeli society and of daily exploitation by ruthless employers, have also become the target of Palestinian suicide bombers.
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The Journal of History - Spring 2003 Copyright © 2003 by News Source, Inc.