Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

9 Sep, 2014

For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit mistakes – Avi Shlaim, The Guardian

By any objective criterion, the outcome of the (Gaza) conflict was a draw. But for a small and poorly armed militia to stand its ground against one of the mightiest armies in the world is a remarkable achievement. Not only did its fighters stand firm, they also succeeded in imposing on the enemy what it dreaded most – a war of attrition. Despite the intense military pressure, Hamas’s spirit did not break and its popularity skyrocketed. Above all, Hamas succeeded in sending a clear message that Israel would have no peace and no security as long as it continued to occupy Palestinian territory.

So what should Israel do? The beginning of wisdom is to admit mistakes and stop adding fuel to the fire. First of all, Israel should end its relentless campaign to demonise the people of Gaza. Demonisation is the enemy of dialogue and a major cause of diplomatic deadlock. The assertion of Major General Giora Eiland that there is no such thing as “innocent civilians” in Gaza is simply absurd. Gazans are normal people and, like normal people anywhere in the world, they long to live in freedom and dignity on their land.

Read the rest: For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit mistakes and change course | Avi Shlaim | Comment is free | The Guardian.