That Israel should want to stop the clerical-fascist Hamas regime in Gaza lobbing rockets into Israel is understandable and unobjectionable. That is has a right to defend itself will be denied only by those who share Hamas's belief that Israel itself has no right to exist, and the Jewish Israelis no right to be where they are, except as a vulnerable, stateless, disarmed religious minority within an Arab state.
In principle, Israel has a right to attack those in Gaza who make feeble and intermittent war from the sky on its citizens.
Despite all that, when you look at what is happening in Gaza, at what the Israeli state is doing to the Palestinians, you are faced with a crying obscenity!
Israel has tremendous military superiority. It has the power to exact the penalty of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred Palestinians dead for every one Jewish Israeli dead at the hands of Hamas. It uses that power with a savage, chauvinist, relentless indifference to the Palestinians. Indifference, to put the case at its most favourable for the Israelis, to Palestinian women and children non-combatants as well as - more than! - to Hamas fighters.
It is grotesque. Unspeakable. Beyond defence and beyond justification.
The unctuous hypocrisy of the Israeli government representatives, the cant against "terrorism" in which they indulge seemingly without intended irony and sarcasm against themxselves, compounds the disgusting spectacle.
Pointing out that Hamas fighters deliberately hide in the civilian population cannot justify or excuse what Israel does. The Palestinian rockets would have to be inflicting immensely larger Israeli casualties than they do to make legitimate self-defence of operations which impose the casualties that Israel is imposing on Palestinian non-combatants.
The disproportionality cries out against the Israeli state and the Israeli government.
Hamas are clerical-fascist medievalists. Israel is one of the most democratic societies in existence. That that the Israeli government uses that fact frequently and inappropriately to justify Israel's attitude to the Arabs does not detract from it. But what follows is that Israel should be correspondingly humane and enlightened.
What Israeli is doing in Gaza is a terrible abuse of power. It should stop. Socialists in Britain and elsewhere should support and help those Israelis who demand that it should stop.
Despite Israel's loss of military prestige as a result of its performance in the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, Israel is in a position to achieve a comprehensive peace with the Arab world and a settlement with the Palestinians that would go as far as any treaty or agreement could in guaranteeing Israel's future. It is a crime, a crime against the Jews of Israel as well as against the Palestinian Arabs, that Israel does not use that position of power to bring about a just and democratic settlement with the Palestinians.
Such a settlement would involve, minimally, Israel agreeing to, facilitating, and respecting the national integrity of a genuinely independent Palestinian state in contiguous territory, side by side with Israel.
Despite lip-service to a two-states settlement, it is not ready to do that. That may be as big a tragedy for the Israeli Jews, in the long term, as it is now for the Palestinians, and most immediately the Palestinians of Gaza.