Tzipi Livni framed the current conflict in Gaza during her address to the Knesset, “The world is divided between peace-loving moderates, and war-mongering extremists”.
On Saturday the moderates carried out a strike that left over 200 dead in less than 5 minutes. The body count is growing, we are past 300 Gazans killed, Saturday and today brought the first two Israeli civilian casualties. The peace-loving moderates vowed not to stop the overwhelming destruction until “the reality on the ground changes”.
Livni continued and said “We expect the world’s support for those who fight the free world’s struggle”. On this point all agree, Gaza is not part of the free world.
Dalia Itzik, the Knesset chairperson said “this is not a time for politics, we must stand behind the army”. Similar statements were heard across the political spectrum from left to right. Besides a Tel-Aviv minority, the only bitter cries of descent are coming from Palestinian-Israelis. The media has been quick to point it out, and the threat of this fifth column.
The pattern is familiar, the Israeli street is proud of the IDF’s potent use of force: The smart bombs, the effective intelligence gathering, and the cool-headed generals. A true Israeli moment. As Gideon Levy wrote “Operation Cast Lead, it will end with a Kleenex”. In a country where corruption and incompetence reign supreme in the halls of government, it’s citizens trust their future in the professional and war-hardened hands of the defense establishment. The IDF had some low-points, but it never stopped being a winning brand. What pride would we have left without it?
I voted for Labor in ’99, maybe I was foolish. In the last four years I have vowed not to vote for Labor many times, but here is another reason: The few Knesset seats that it will win in the general elections will have been procured with blood.