A new wave of hatred towards Palestine is sweeping through Israel from public figures to the man on the street. This hostility is in sharp contrast to efforts in Cairo, where Arab leaders and Western diplomats are trying to hammer out a peace plan.
While Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Nabil Sheath expressed hope Sunday night that negotiations would continue, very different noises were coming out of Israel.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Operation Pillar of Defense would continue and likely be expanded, a reference to the possibility that a ground offensive has already been given the go-ahead.
The war in Gaza “must be so painful and difficult that the terror groups will not think twice but a hundred times before they fire missiles against Israel again,” it was reported in The Israel National News.
“Destroy and damage infrastructure, public buildings and government buildings. We must make sure that Hamas will be spending many years rebuilding Gaza, and not attacking Israel,” he continued.
A few days ago he said, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years.”
His words were relatively mild compared to some of the comments that have been coming out of Israel in recent days.
Journalist, Gilad Sharon, the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday called for Gaza to be flattened like the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.
“We need to flatten all of Gaza. The American’s didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough – so they hit Nagasaki too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” ranted Sharon.
As the former Prime Minister’s son publicly urged the military to wipe Gaza off the map, a member of the Knesset and the National Unity Party, Michael Ben-Ari, called for Israeli soldiers to kill Gazans without thought or mercy.
“There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives – mow them down!” it was reported on the Hakol HaYehudi website.
He also told soldiers to ignore Goldstone; in reference to the UN commissioned Goldstone report on Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza, which found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Israel Katz, the country’s transport minister, has called “for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.” While Avi Dichter, the minster of home front defense, has urged the IDF to “reformat” Gaza – to wipe it clean with bombs.
Even religious leaders joined the fray, with a prominent Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Yosef, the son of former chief rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, in a sermon at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron blessed IDF soldiers while urging them “to learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy.” Continue reading