Thursday, January 8, 2009

Israel: how is this helping anyone?

I've broken my ban on news from Gaza -- a ban I had placed because I knew reading anything would only make me angry. I was right. But I'm also mortified, ashamed, and very sad.

The UN has had to stop providing food and medical aid to Gaza because their trucks were being fired on by Israeli tanks and bombers. 700 people have been killed, including, as claimed by the Israeli military, 130 Hamas fighters; 200 children have also been killed. The Israeli military has also killed 10 Israelis with "friendly fire". 370 adults with nothing to do with Hamas, except having the poor luck to live near someone who might be suspected of being a Hamas fighter, have also been killed.

How is this helping Israel? I don't see it.
"The International Committee of the Red Cross reported finding “shocking” scenes during the first lull, on Wednesday, including four children, weak and emaciated, next to the bodies of their mothers. In a rare and sharply critical statement, it said it believed that “the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded.”"
(Emphasis mine.)

What about this?
"Casualty figures are difficult to verify, but the Gazan authorities have reported nearly 700 dead, with an uncertain number of them civilians, including more than 200 children. On Tuesday, Israeli shells killed some 40 people at a United Nations school in Gaza on Tuesday."

(Emphasis mine.) How does bombing a school help Israel? How does removing the source of education make anyone less likely to turn to Hamas? How does bombing aid trucks make someone less likely to go to Hamas? How is any of this tragedy helping Israel? That's the point, isn't it? That's why Israel is bombing Gaza? They want to raize Hamas to the ground so as to protect Israel. Right?

It won't surprise anyone that I'm not an expert on international affairs; I'm an American after all. However, I think I know a little something about hate. When someone does something to you to hurt you, you hate them. When someone you have been conditioned to hate kills someone you love, you want to kill that person. Violence begets violence, I don't care what the neocons in this country or elsewhere say -- if we kill all of the people who might hate us, no one will hate us or try to kill us -- the more people you kill, the more people hate you. This is especially true for an entity like Israel who is, unfortunately, at the center of a lot of hatred already.

Unfortunately, I'm preaching to the choir here. I'm getting myself all riled up for nothing. No words I say here will affect the Israeli military or have any effect on a cease-fire. You are the only person who will be affected by what I have written here, and while some small difference is a difference nonetheless, it is because of my impotence in this situation that I have been ignoring it. I think a lot of people feel that. It's almost as tragic as those 580 "collateral damage" deaths.

It's almost as tragic as thinking that you can bomb the world to peace.

No comments: