Defense Minister Ehud Barak yesterday authorized the use of collective punishment by shutting down the electricity in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia for two-hour periods, should the shooting of Qassam rockets continue from there. It is not at all clear if the electricity really will be turned off or if the authorization is part of a psychological warfare effort - time will tell. The whole issue underlines the fact that Israel is supplying electricity to Gaza, not a surprise to anyone who knows the reality, but somehow never mentioned by the Guardian and the rest of the Gaza-is-an-Israeli-prison brigade. (Israel also supplies some of Gaza's water, and therein lies a tale, but not today).
Anyway, the group for whom this measure will or won't be taken, the civilians in Sderot, are not of one mind about it. Some think it's not enough, others think it's merely a sop to them but will bring no respite from the rockets, others think it's a bad idea. Listening to their responses is so interesting precisely because none of them are into ideology. They're not thinking about colonialism, or hegemonic power struggles, or fascism, or international law. They're getting shot at, they belong to a highly experienced society and at the moment they're bearing the brunt of the conflict, and their considerations are practical. This is what an educated discussion about warfare sounds like.