WASHINGTON - July 7 -
Though rarely featured in recent news coverage, Israeli critics of the
Gaza attacks are speaking out loudly.
TANYA REINHART, http://www.tau.ac.il/~reinhart
Professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University, Reinhart is author of the
forthcoming book "The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003."
She said today: "The present Israeli 'operation' is not about
releasing the captured Israeli soldier -- one need not be a military
analyst to realize he cannot be released this way. The Israeli army has
been planning this operation for quite a while, awaiting the appropriate
trigger that will create the appropriate international conditions.
"The major goal of the Israeli government is toppling the Hamas
government by force. In Israel's view, the Palestinian election results
are a disaster, because for the first time they have a leadership that
insists on representing Palestinian interests rather than just
collaborating with Israel's demands.
"A second local goal is to turn the north of the Gaza Strip into a
'no man's land.' This plan has been openly discussed in Israeli media
since the disengagement last summer." Reinhart is a columnist for the
Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot and author of the book "Israel/Palestine:
How to End the War of 1948."
URI AVNERY, http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en
Avnery is founder of Gush-Shalom, the Israeli "Peace Bloc." He said
today: "The offensive on land, from the sea and from the air does not
put an end to the launching of Qassam rockets. It is leading to their
increase. The sowing of destruction in the Gaza Strip does not bring
Gilad Shalit home. It is endangering his life." Avnery has been a member
of the Knesset and as a youth was a member of the Irgun, a rightwing
YISHAI MENUCHIN, http://www.yeshgvul.org
Menuchin is a spokesman for the Israeli peace group Yesh Gvul, which
educates soldiers and the public about Israeli violations of
international law. Yesh Gvul activists were among the hundreds of
protesters in front of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's house on July 1.
Menuchin said: "We call for our government to stop targeting Palestinian
civilians -- the targeting of civilians is a war crime -- and start
negotiating with the elected Palestinian leaders, not to arrest them."
Yesh Gvul will be releasing the book "Occupation and Refusal" this month.