Pity Gaza

I just want to add my voice to those decrying the events happening in Gaza right now. I’ve read some pretty ordinary commentary on this, including from some claiming to be balanced and impartial who have the whole thing the wrong way around. It’s pretty simple: the indiscriminate death is shocking, and has to stop.

I’m sympathetic to Israel inasmuch that they can’t simply allow their people to be attacked without taking action. No-one could disagree with that. The problem is, as it has it has been so often in that conflict, that so many innocent people, particularly children, end up as victims. And that’s because the IDF seem disinterested in a targeted response. Rather they shell Gaza with a malicious disregard for who may be at the other end. Too often that has been children.

I’m not picking on Israel, though there are many who will likely accuse me of anti-semitic, which is the lazy and convenient form of abuse for anyone who disagrees with Israeli policy. I’m certainly not an apologist for Hamas, who started this. Hamas is pretty much a terrorist organisation. That’s what they do. They can excuse their actions as fighting for liberation, but their methods are violence and terror. It’s deplorable, and it can’t be excused, but does anyone really expect anything better from them? Their actions cannot be condoned, but we can’t be surprised by them.

It’s different for Israel. Israel is a sovereign nation, not a political terrorist organisation. They’re a member of the UN. They receive vast amounts of aid and support from the west. They’re a democracy for God’s sake, and operate under the rule of law. As a society they are recognisable and familiar in many ways to what we know in our countries. That’s what makes them culpable (in the same way our Australian government is culpable in their treatment of refugees). We expect better because that should be the standard of civilised society – justice, law, democracy, decency.

The kid that throws a rock through a window does not deserve to be shot to death by the home owner. Nor does his family, or those who live in his neighbourhood, which is the parallel to what is occurring in Gaza today. That is a disproportionate and unjust reaction, but that is what Israel is doing today.

Fact is many more Palestinians have died in this latest explosion of conflict than have Israelis. I suspect the great majority of those Palestinians are innocents; the guilty know well enough to scurry away to safety. Israelis have the power. They’re the man of the house, and they can inflict a beating much greater than they would ever fear to receive. That is the situation now.

Much as it is a tragedy, it’s just dumb too. Israel is losing the PR war. They’re losing support worldwide. And with each innocent victim they kill another two recruits will step up to avenge them. It’s bewildering to me how governments fail to understand how by their actions they create terrorists, and terrorism. They become the authors of their own misery.

Israel exists only with the support of the west. They won’t lose that in a hurry, but it wavers. They surround themselves with those embittered with the loss of privilege and rights, as well as nationhood, and breed hatred in them by murdering them with seeming impunity. This can’t go on forever.





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