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A harbinger of worse to come

According to Elie Wiesel, "War leaves no victors, only victims.



Blame for the ever-deepening crisis in Gaza is laid clearly on the pugnacious Israeli leadership for ordering the extrajudicial assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaban, an extreme act of desperation inviting bloody revenge.

Former ally Turkey decried the savage killing, straining already frayed Israeli-Egyptian relations, as a "pre-election stunt". Operation Pillar of Defence is the latest miscalculated escalation attempt to inflict damage on perceived enemies labelled "terrorists" in one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008 and Lebanon in 2006 inflicted severe lasting political, socio-economic and diplomatic consequences for Israel without achieving the primary military objective - the obliteration of Hamas. A delusional provocateur, by definition, encourages or persuades others to provoke unrest or commit illegal acts tantamount to war crimes.

The widening instability gripping the region, especially in Syria and Jordan, threatens to become a full-fledged confrontation, spreading chaos and provoking a regional war.

Meanwhile, the all-but-forgotten hope for peaceful coexistence in a two-state solution remains an unfounded lost horizons.

Again, quoting Elie Wiesel: "No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgements are wrong; only racists make them."

Charles Frederickson

Bangkok


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