The political mudslinging between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni over the failure of Israel’s siege of Gaza would be amusing if it were not so disturbing.
The exchange basically comes down to Bibi saying that he inherited the Gaza siege from the previous government and Livni responding that under their version of the siege, the world wasn’t condemning Israel for it.
We’ll get back to Bibi in a moment, but let’s look at the depths of Livni’s disingenuousness.
Livni is not just the current head of Kadima; she was Foreign Minister when the siege was enacted and when Israel wreaked havoc in Operation Cast Lead. Unlike Avigdor Lieberman, the FM in the current government, Livni was at the very heart of policymaking under Olmert. She cannot duck responsibility for Gaza.
Under the watch that Livni was a central part of, Israel enacted a policy that was needlessly cruel and ultimately self-defeating. For three years, the civilians in Gaza have been devastated. They, not Hamas, bore the brunt of Israel’s policies. They, not Hamas, were impacted by Israel barring all sorts of household items, cleansers, foodstuffs, coffee, cigarettes, and other consumer products.
These effects were far from unexpected; they were the sole intent of the policies. This was the very definition of collective punishment. (more…)