Events around date of publication of this item.
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Sat, 3 Jan 2009
al-Makadma Mosque destroyed in Beit Lahiya during evening prayers; dozens of fatalities and many more injured
start of Invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces
Israeli bombers destroy the American International School in northern Gaza
Suez cement factory workers strike in protest against sales of cement to Israel
Thu, 1 Jan 2009
Israeli one-ton bomb kills Nizar Rayan, six of his family; at least 20 fatalities
Yet another Israeli attack on Sudan
Wed, 31 Dec 2008
Israeli occupation forces invade several Palestinian villages in the West Bank; harass and kidnap Palestinian civilians
Israeli air force bombs the Agricultural and Farming College of Northern Gaza
Israeli Navy bombards fishing ports in northern Gaza, destroying fishing boats and two harbors
Tue, 30 Dec 2008
Solidarity ship SS Dignity rammed by the Israeli navy
Mon, 29 Dec 2008
Israeli occupation forces invade several West Bank towns; harass and kidnap Palestinian civilians
Israeli aircraft bomb the Islamic University in Gaza; many Palestinian student fatalities; library, women’s dormitory, engineering and medical colleges devastated
Sun, 28 Dec 2008
Israeli border police kill two Palestinians at Gaza solidarity demonstration in Ni'lin
Sat, 27 Dec 2008
start of Israeli attack on Gaza, which kills more than 1,400 people (aka Operation Cast Lead; The Gaza Massacre 2008)
Israeli air force massacre 99 policemen and 9 civilians at police graduation ceremony in Gaza
Fri, 26 Dec 2008
Israeli occupation forces invade Araba; harass and kidnap Palestinian civilians
Thu, 25 Dec 2008
Israeli interior ministry forces demolish mosque in the unrecognized village of Wadi Al-Na'am
Israeli military threatens to bomb tunnels between Rafah and Egypt
Mon, 22 Dec 2008
Israeli occupation forces invade towns in the Jenin and Nablus areas; harass and kidnap Palestinian civilians
Sat, 20 Dec 2008
Special Israeli army units beat and abuse Palestinian prisoners at the Ofer camp

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The neighborhood bully strikes again

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Article/book #: 95816
Title: The neighborhood bully strikes again
By: Gideon Levy  
Published in: Ha’aretz
Date of issue: Sunday, 28 December 2008
Topic(s) addressed: People/entities mentioned in this item: Timeline event(s) mentioned in this item:
   27 Dec 2008
to 17 Jan 2009
Israeli attack on Gaza, which kills more than 1,400 people (aka Operation Cast Lead; The Gaza Massacre 2008)



»Israel embarked yesterday on yet another unnecessary, ill-fated war. On July 16, 2006, four days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, I wrote: "Every neighborhood has one, a loud-mouthed bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger... Not that the bully's not right – someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction!" Two and a half years later, these words repeat themselves, to our horror, with chilling precision. Within the span of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, the IDF sowed death and destruction on a scale that the Qassam rockets never approached in all their years, and Operation "Cast Lead" is only in its infancy.
Once again, Israel's violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom. What began yesterday in Gaza is a war crime and the foolishness of a country. History's bitter irony: A government that went to a futile war two months after its establishment – today nearly everyone acknowledges as much – embarks on another doomed war two months before the end of its term.«

»The history of the Middle East is repeating itself with despairing precision. Just the frequency is increasing. If we enjoyed nine years of quiet between the Yom Kippur War and the First Lebanon War, now we launch wars every two years. As such, Israel proves that there is no connection between its public relations talking points that speak of peace, and its belligerent conduct.«

»The pictures that flooded television screens around the world yesterday showed a parade of corpses and wounded being loaded into and unloaded from the trunks of private cars that transported them to the only hospital in Gaza worthy of being called a hospital. Perhaps we once again need to remember that we are dealing with a wretched, battered strip of land, most of whose population consists of the children of refugees who have endured inhumane tribulations. For two and a half years, they have been caged and ostracized by the whole world. The line of thinking that states that through war we will gain new allies in the Strip; that abusing the population and killing its sons will sear this into their consciousness; and that a military operation would suffice in toppling an entrenched regime and thus replace it with another one friendlier to us is no more than lunacy.«

»In the meantime, let us now let the IDF win, as they say. A hero against the weak, it bombed dozens of targets from the air yesterday, and the pictures of blood and fire are designed to show Israelis, Arabs and the entire world that the neighborhood bully's strength has yet to wane. When the bully is on a rampage, nobody can stop him.«

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