Sunday, February 01, 2009

London: Bomb Gaza Civilians

Hillel Fendel London: Bomb Gaza Civilians

Left-wing television and media personality Yaron London surprised many of his colleagues during the recent war against Hamas by calling for a no-holds-barred military response against the civilian population of Gaza. first outlined his views in an article in Yediot Acharonot, and then elaborated upon them for clearly-shocked interviewer Razi Barkai on Army Radio.

“It appears that we have exhausted the options of moderating Hamas fanaticism with measured responses,” London wrote, “and the time has come to shock the Gaza population with actions that until now have nauseated us - [such a killing the political leadership, causing hunger and thirst in Gaza, blocking off energy sources, causing widespread destruction, and being less discriminating in the killing of civilians. There is no other choice.”

Asked by Barkai, a veteran left-wing broadcaster in his own right, why there is no choice, London responded, “The strategy of modular and gradual pressure has not brought the desired results. We cannot absorb any more Kassams, we cannot fortify the entire south, we cannot take over Gaza because the price will be too heavy, and gradual pressure has only made Hamas and the Gaza population even tougher and more fanatic. I therefore concluded that there are only two remaining options: being extra nice to them, or being extra tough –"

Barkai interrupts and says, “There is a third option: negotiations with Hamas.”

London: “Which will bring what?”

Barkai: “I have no idea, but it is a possibility, at least in theory.”

London: “Negotiations will lead only to a ceasefire, whose duration will be determined solely in accordance with Hamas interests; we will not come out of that period with a greater advantage in terms of arms and weapons…”

Asked how he can guarantee that a tougher Israeli offensive will yield the desired results, London said: “Experience in past wars shows me that if we are tough enough, then at a certain stage, their standing-power will break… I am referring to both the population and their leadership; they are the same, because the population voted for Hamas. I can’t separate between one who voted for Hamas and a Hamas leader.”

Barkai: We will have to deal with very difficult pictures of hungry children –

London: Yes.

Barkai: and destroyed houses -

London: Yes.

Barkai: and dead unarmed civilians, etc. How will we be able to deal with this?

London: Everyone in Gaza is armed… There is a consensus in Israel that the time has come to take action. We cannot fortify Ashdod, and Netivot, and Sderot, and bear this disgrace.

Barkai: There might be thousands of dead?

London: I hope not – I hope that one real blow will put an end to this before we get to that.

Barkai: Give me an example of such a blow.

London: I don’t want to give an example, but you can go back to history and see.

Barkai: [short pau The only thing I can think of, and that you apparently don’t want to say, is the bombing of cities such as in World War II.

London: Right. You don’t need to bomb a whole city; a quarter of a borough should be enough…

Barkai finally asked, “Tell me, have you undergone an – I don’t want to say ‘ideological crisis’ because that sounds too high-brow, but perhaps a little crisis—

London: My brothers in Sderot are what brought me to this.

Barkai uses his trademark phrase: “Ki ma?” [Because what

London: Because I can’t take the idea of little frightened girls running around in the streets of Sderot. That’s the whole thing. You can tolerate it for a certain amount of time, like the kibbutzim of the Jordan Valley did, or if it’s only a small amount of terror organizations, or whatever. But when an entire population of 1.5 million [Gaza Arab voted for this Hamas government, then this population has to bear the responsibility. That’s the whole story.

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