The otherwise excellent (unsigned) editorial continues: "We also know that to have chosen to strike on Saturday morning, when the streets of this impoverished enclave were full, showed the same indifference to human life with which Israel charges its enemies. When the suicide bombers reply in cafes and shops, as they inevitably will, Israel will reel in horror. But it will shut out of its mind the blood its warplanes have now caused to flow in Gaza."
Clearly, the writer has no illusions about Israel.
In the same issue of the Guardian Weekly, Rachel Cooke reports on the Bedouin who live near Beersheba, and hold Israeli citizenship. Her long article is essential reading, even (especially?) in these difficult time when all eyes are on Gaza.
"The statistics, however, are striking. Israel has a national health insurance scheme which entitles all residents to access to a health 'basket', irrespective of income. It is considered progressive and efficient, and health outcomes in the country are good. So why, then, is the infant-mortality rate among the Bedouin population so high (15.5 for every 1,000 in 2006) compared to that of the Jewish population (three for every 1,000 in 2006)? (In the wider Israeli Arab population, the figure is eight for every 1,000; the Bedouin are, as Avni points out, at 'the very bottom of the heap').
The Bedouin are ill, mostly due to the lack of clean water available to them. Intestinal infections are common, diarrhoea endemic during the summer. In a sirocco, when the wind whips up, the dust rises and temperatures peak, 60 per cent of the children in Negev hospitals are Bedouin, a figure that sometimes rises to 80 per cent during the summer. Bedouin children and older adults suffer disproportionately from respiratory diseases such as asthma because their iron houses are so hot by day and so cold by night; their villages full of burning garbage; their homes too close to Israel's main hazardous waste facility, Romat Hovav (the site is also home to 19 chemical factories)."