It is without controversy among rational people the realization that collective punishment – a tactic defined under international law as a war crime – is in no way a proper means by which to pursue conflict resolution.
Setting aside for now the moral and legal aspects of collective punishment, examining the tactic on purely pragmatic grounds, one finds that outside of the tactic being sinister and evil ethically speaking, and in breech of international law, a gross violation of human rights, the tactic is not only impractical, it is, in fact, counter productive, ensuring the opposite effect as the one so desired; the effect so desired being peace and security, or so proclaim propagandists for collective punishment. Collective punishment and the inevitable exacerbation of the circular violence which it necessarily provokes only ever serves as fuel to the fire, intensifying the internecine violence.
It is always of benefit to investigate the real-life application of such tactics and doctrines as collective punishment. Arguably the most explicit and depraved example is provided to us through the Israel-Palestine conflict, specifically,
As the consequences of the destruction of Lebanon by Israel attest, collective punishment not only does not turn the general population against the resistance or terrorist bands – in this case, Hezbollah – it actually strengthens the resistance and/or terrorist bands; in the case of Lebanon it served beyond the wildest dreams of the Hezbollah to further radicalize the population of Lebanon, shore up sympathy and support for Hezbollah and ultimately embolden the terrorist elements within the resistance.
Returning to the situation in
As was the case with
The Israeli siege of
Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician and human rights activist living in
The operation, dubbed “Hot Winter,” has killed seventy-seven Palestinians in two days. As Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now!, more than 112 Palestinians have been killed and “[a]ccording to
Amnesty International reports that “Israeli forces also destroyed houses and property across the
Amid all of this violent chaos, the Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas has himself suspended peace negotiations and cut off all contacts with Israel; demonstrating beyond any reasonable doubt the counterproductive consequences of the policy of collective punishment. Now not only are the populations of the Occupied Territories not turning against Hamas, but even the traditionally sniveling Israeli puppets, like Abbas, are turning more and more against Israel.
The policy of collective punishment and the consequences which it necessarily entails demonstrates that the term “collective punishment” is simply a transparent euphemism for terrorism. To violently punish an entire population for political ends, to, say, completely seal the Gaza border, to cut off entry of fuel and medical supplies, to then invade Gaza and indiscriminately murder innocent men, women and children noncombatants in the stated desire to elicit from them revulsion of Hamas and a desire to accept any unjust solution to the conflict so long as the destruction and murder ends, is the elementary, textbook definition of terrorism.