On December 29, 1890, as the American West, the last frontier, was being settled, the US 7th Cavalry surrounded a group of 350 Sioux Indians on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. The cavalry had come to demand the Indians surrender their weapons.
No one is really sure what happened next, but a number of historians speculate that the 7th fired the shot that gave birth to the massacre so they could claim self defense in the mass murder that followed because they wanted revenge for the Little Big Horn in 1876. When the firing stopped over 300 Sioux Indians were dead including women and children. This was the last major confrontation in the slow genocide against the Native Americans in taking land for settlement, leaving the Indians crowded into Reservations on land no one really wanted.
Fast forward to 2014 and there are many similarities between America's policies toward Native Americans and Israel's policies toward the native Palestinian population. America had the brutal removal of the Cherokee population from the East Coast to Oklahoma, Israel created the Nakba of 1948 forcibly removing 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands. In both cases settlers kept on taking land that belonged to the native population forcing the native population into a smaller and smaller space. What is Gaza but a reservation for Palestinians.
Both the Americans and Israeli's developed what can only be called the Zimbardo effect for the 1971 Stanford experiment led by Don Zimbardo that sought to identify how prisoners and guards developed the personality traits found in Americas prisons at the time. This experiment with normal emotionally healthy college students was to last two weeks but only lasted six days during which time those students who were taking on the role of guards had already begun to develop sadistic attitudes and behaviors toward their fellow college students who they knew were not hardened criminals but student volunteers just like themselves who had been chosen to play the role of criminal. That makes the Zimbardo Effect that much more thought and fear provoking.
During America's Indian wars the Indians were seen as savages, something less than human and as we know today many normal Israeli's have viewed the Palestinians as vermin in need of extermination justifying even the death's of women and children with a number of Israeli's viewing the brutal attacks on Gaza as open air entertainment cheering each bomb blast.
The dehumanization of one's so called enemy is one of the traits Zimbardo identified as part of the process when one begins to view themselves as superior because of having complete power and control over those they are killing thus, part of the justification for the mass murder. I might ad in this economy you see some of this from CEO's toward their employees.
Netanyahu has his own version of Manifest Destiny which so many white Americans viewed as providing a moral justification for just taking all the land they wanted exterminating the lives and culture of the native population in the process. The Palestinians in Gaza live in what can only be called the worlds largest open air prison where they are not allowed to grow their own produce, the Israeli's calculated the minimal number of calories a day to maintain life and only let that amount in. Gaza is short of medical supplies, clean water and the electricity can be cut off at the whim of the Israeli Defense Forces.
My question is did you expect people to just passively accept this?
What the Israeli's are responding to is the launching of missiles, that mainly seem to fall harmlessly in the desert in a desperate response to their powerless imprisonment. A better question on self defense than does israel have this right might be do the Plaestinians have the right of self defense against the wanton brutal subjugation they are under. The Israeli's are calling these attacks their right of self defense much as the 7th cavalry called their actions at Wounded Knee self defense. History has a different judgement, with many today calling it murder some, the last act of a genocidal policy.