The Nightmare in Gaza

After international condemnation of Israel for bombing a school that was being used as an United Nation’s shelter for Gaza’s children (which the US also condemned but then agreed to give Israel more ammunition), the Israeli government and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire today. It ended less than four hours later.

One of the sticking points to a truce was the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he was going to keep soldier on the ground destroying the tunnels in Gaza which can be used to allow militants into Israel, “with or without a ceasefire“. However, no sooner did the shame of the school bombing force Netanyahu to the table for talks, some idiots in Hamas killed two soldiers and kidnapped another one, effectively destroying what little hope the ceasefire had.

Meanwhile, about 1/4 of Gaza’s population (about 425,000 people) are now refugees. More than 1,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombs, and most of the dead and wounded are civilians. At least 58 Israelis have been killed (56 were soldiers and two civilians) and more would have died if most of Hamas’ rockets into Israel are being destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system before they can touch the ground.

Do you know who is suffering the greatest number of casualties due to the joint stupidity and obstinacy of Netanyahu and Hamas? The non-combatant adults, children, and babies of Gaza, that’s who.

The grief of Palestinian families:

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Is no less than the grief of Israeli families:

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The agony of a parent losing a child is no less whether that child is a baby or adult, Palestinian or Israeli.

What good is the invasion of Gaza doing Israel? What did Netanyahu think he would accomplish? As one editorial in The Guardian said:

“The Israelis did not go into Gaza to kill children. But, as Jon Snow implied in his passionate video this week, they went in knowing that they would kill children because it is impossible in that crowded, chaotic territory to pursue their foes without massive collateral damage. The only way not to kill children would be not to go in at all. And that raises the most critical issue, which is why they went in. The immediate justification was that Hamas rockets and raiding parties entering through tunnels were a threat to Israeli civilians. One may quarrel with that, because this threat has been, so far, relatively limited. It might get worse in the future, but is a country justified in the use of force because of something that may happen rather than something that has happened? That threat might never fully materialise because of Israeli technical superiority or because political developments rendered it irrelevant. The distinguished Israeli writer David Grossman, addressing himself to Israeli leaders, asks: “How could you have wasted the years since the last conflict without initiating dialogue, without even making the slightest gesture toward dialogue with Hamas, without attempting to change our explosive reality? Why, for these past few years, has Israel avoided judicious negotiations with the moderate and more conversable sectors of the Palestinian people … Why have you ignored, for 12 years, the Arab League initiative that could have enlisted moderate Arab states with the power to impose, perhaps, a compromise on Hamas?” If you want peace, prepare for war, says the Roman proverb. But here it is the opposite: if you want to avoid war, prepare for peace. The Netanyahu government is paying the price for having sedulously avoided real negotiations with the Palestinians through a long series of subterfuges and distractions culminating in the recent barren passage that, over many months, wore down even the ever- patient and optimistic John Kerry.”

Israel, you cannot “win” this war with bombs. The tunnels are less of a potential danger to you than the current damage you are causing to your own people, and your own interests, by continuing this conflict.

Hamas, you cannot win any war with Israel, period. Start to emulate Gandhi by the nonviolent protesting Israeli/Palestinian apartheid or watch more of your children die. You should be fighting in the social media, not in the streets.

As for the rest of the world, Australian Jewish freelance journalist and author Antony Loewenstein is utterly correct when he says, “What you need is more people in the public arena to not be scared, to say I’m critical of Israel, I’m not anti-Semitic, I support Jews’ right to live freely and openly as I do as a Jew but we will not tolerate our politicians failing, and therefore civil society must act …  Growing isolation and boycotts and divestment and sanctions [against Israel]; that is the only way … I can guarantee after this current Gaza massacre ends, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) will grow.”

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