OPERATION CAST LEAD was described by a UN fact -finding mission (the Goldstone report) as “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” The winter 2008–09 assault claimed the lives of 1,400 Palestinians and thrust the crisis in Gaza into the center of the debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The crippling siege continues to block access to construction materials desperately needed to rebuild in the wake of the Israeli attack and prevents people from leaving the Strip even for life threatening illnesses. With the constant humiliation of living a life punctuated by regular military incursions and ubiquitous checkpoints, Gaza has come to be known as the world’s largest open-air prison.
Following Israel’s naval attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla—a humanitarian aid misión aimed at breaking the unbearable siege—international observers are increasingly questioning the logic of Israeli military aggression, and worldwide public support for Palestine is growing.
In Gaza in Crisis, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, two of the conflict’s most insightful critical commentators, survey the fallout from Israel’s conduct in Gaza and place it into the context of Israel’s longstanding occupation of Palestine.