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Blind in Gaza and Jerusalem

LONDON – I spent the New Year in Sydney, watching the fireworks above the iconic bridge welcome in 2009. The explosions over Gaza that night were not intended to entertain, but rather to break Hamas and discredit it in the eyes of Palestinians.

It was the latest resort to terrible violence in order to resolve how to share in peace what Christians still like to call the Holy Land. Mahatma Gandhi criticized the biblical justification of retribution, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Followed through to its end, he argued, it would mean that all were blind. And so it has proved in Palestine and Israel. Blind in Gaza, blind in Jerusalem.

Much of what has happened was predictable, as well over 1,400 men, women, and children have died and more than 4,000 have been injured.

First, the United States justified the Israeli assault and blamed everything on Hamas, just as it used to pin all responsibility for whatever went wrong on Yasir Arafat and Fatah.