'This policy is not strengenthing Israel'

There's a lot of good commentary out there today on the situation in Gaza. The cover story in Time is entitled "Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Israel?" -- a sign of how the conventional wisdom is that Israel's military assault, with its horrific toll on civilians,  is badly backfiring.

Some of the best commentary, not surprisingly, is from Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. Read the whole thing because there's a lot in one column, but here's one worthwhile snippet:

“This policy is not strengthening Israel,” notes Sari Bashi, the executive director of Gisha, an Israeli human rights group that works on Gaza issues. “The trauma that 1.5 million people have been undergoing in Gaza is going to have long-term effects for our ability to live together.

“My colleague in Gaza works for an Israeli organization. She’s learning Hebrew, and she’s just the kind of person we can build a future with. And her 6-year-old nephew, every time a bomb drops from the air, is at first scared and then says — hopefully — maybe the Qassam Brigades will now fire rockets at the Israelis.”

Israel’s strategy has been to make ordinary Palestinians suffer in hopes of creating ill will toward Hamas. That’s why, beginning in 2007, Israel cut back fuel shipments for Gaza utilities — and why today, in the aftermath of the bombings, 800,000 Gaza residents lack running water, Ms. Bashi said.

War is always a horrible thing, but a war that is killing civilians and helping to create the next generation of extremists -- and yet is so counterproductive to the health of our ally, Israel, that is waging it -- is not just horrible but remarkably stupid. And it needs to stop right this second.

(h/t E&P Pub)