Gideon Levy: We are bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists

"The legitimate basis for the IDF's operation was stripped away the moment it began. It's no accident that nobody mentions the day before the attack on the Kerem Shalom fort, when the IDF kidnapped two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from their home in Gaza.

"The difference between us and them? We kidnapped civilians and they captured a soldier, we are a state and they are a terror organization....

"True, when the IDF and Shin Bet grab civilians from their homes - and they do so often - it is not to murder them later. But sometimes they are killed on the doorsteps of their homes, although it is not necessary, and sometimes they are grabbed to serve as 'bargaining chips,' like in Lebanon and now, with the Palestinian legislators.

"What an uproar there would be if the Palestinians had grabbed half the members of the Israeli government. How would we label them?

"Collective punishment is illegitimate and it does not have a smidgeon of intelligence. Where will the inhabitants of Beit Hanun run? ...Can the miserable farmers of Beit Hanun and Beit Lahia do anything about the Qassam rocket-launching cells?

"Did anyone think about what would have happened if Syrian planes had managed to down one of the Israeli planes that brazenly buzzed their president's palace? Would we have declared war on Syria?

"But this time we are not only shooting. We are bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists and nobody breaks the silence to ask, what the hell for, and according to what right?"

Click here for Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and here for links to Israeli Peace Groups.

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