Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Rockets, Rockets Everywhere and No Time to Think


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attack on the Gaza Strip is located inside a just and merciful response to Hamas rockets, echoed by President Obama’s, “No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

Accordingly, in the Gaza Strip, rockets are to be found everywhere—under hospital beds, in school cellars, under the pillows of infants asleep in their beds.

The elderly are storing them up God knows where, as well as patients in intensive care, some of them strapped to machines and comatose.

Rockets are to be found on the beach where little boys play soccer, carried ingeniously within the sand, and in schoolyards, back yards, railroad yards, slaughterhouse yards.

Rockets are hidden in chimneys, tree houses, attics, closets, outhouses, suitcases, trunks, sideboards, toilets, under mattresses, in medicine cabinets.

Hamas deliberately plants these devices everywhere in the Gaza Strip, and even baby carriages carry them in folds between the springs.

And they are effective. Israel’s Iron Dome System is hardly able to cope. In the first days of the conflict three Israelis were injured from these ubiquitously located rockets fired from The Strip into the hapless Iron Dome System.

Over the years with these rocket attacks and mortar attacks, 32 Israelis have died.

Meanwhile, in the first days this time 166 Palestinians died, including 36 children, with 1,120 injured.

They died due to Hamas’ insistence on Palestinians remaining in their homes—to die instead of fleeing. This is Hamas strategy to make Israel look bad.

Citizens and children, even the comatose in intensive care, all said: “Hamas, we will die for you because you commanded it.”

They could have fled somewhere and saved themselves, although the Strip is a closed ghetto with nowhere to go.

Perhaps there were schools or UN Centers or hospitals that might not be bombed and were not too crowded. Or holes in the ground to crawl into.

Furthermore there were compassionate warnings as with text messages or telephone calls at two o’clock in the morning, with three minutes to get everyone up and out of the house, including elderly, disabled, children, before the missiles descended.

There was the merciful knock-on system, which is a light missile hammering on a house indicating the real thing is coming in just a moment, the complete fire ball obliteration, so get out soon.

The knock-on message was: “We are saving you. We care about you.”

But rockets and Hamas must be rooted out, tunnels destroyed, so a ground invasion must be initiated.

Rockets, being secreted not just in tunnels but everywhere—in the pockets of infants, old ladies, the gravely ill, ambulance drivers, aid workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, housewives, toddlers, shop workers, police, the wretched, the insane and helpless alike—must be pursued and extinguished.

“After all, they have rockets.”

“We have the Iron Dome, a captive population within a narrow space and nowhere to run, hellfire missiles, drones, tanks, F-16s, gunships, an army.”

“We have the backing of the United States and its allies, the West.”

Currently the tally is 718 Palestinians killed, 132 of them children, thousands injured.

Israel has lost 34, 32 of them soldiers.

War is war, asymmetric or not, unfortunate or not. There is the just war, unfortunate as it may be, and as compassionate as it may be.

It’s a simple case.

Barbaric and disproportionate punishment of a civilian population must be abjured and condemned.

The rocket fusillade from the Gaza Strip is unreasonable, extreme, hideous, primitive, indiscriminate, infantile.

It has taken a saint of patience, mercy, and restraint to deal with it.

Joseph K. Winter is a novelist and political activist in the San Francisco Bay area writing occasionally for the internet press.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future