Posts Tagged ‘Humanitarian crisis’

The Path being Tread

It’s hard for me to know exactly how to express myself.  I am becoming more disturbed the longer the assault on Gaza continues.  The number of dead now stand: Palestinians 800>: Israel: 13.

Who can say that this is a reasonable response to rocket fire that has killed very few people?  I am sympathetic to the people of Sderot and the other areas being his by rockets, but the IDF operation does not serve their interests.

This article on Daily Kos  is worth reading. There are some in Israel (although an unfortunately small number) who oppose the current military action.  There was a joint peace rally held in Israel, with both Jews and Arabs.  And there are some peace groups, such as Taayush, that try to cultivate relations with Palestinian.  But, as I said, the number is not as large as it should be.

Recently, the IDF shelled a UN school, killing at least 30 people.  Initially, the IDF said they were being shot at from the school, but the UN says IDF officers admitted there was no gunfire from Gaza school.  So we have an example now of the IDF lying about a mistake.  Honestly, I prefer that it was a mistake instead of an intentional action.  However, this kind of mistake is what becomes inevitable in urban fighting, and with militaries in general.  This is a major reason why the IDF should not attack Gaza.  It is guaranteed – as we are seeing – that there will be high civilian casualties.

Human Rights Watch is reporting that the IDF is using phosphorus munitions in Gaza, which is illegal.  I really don’t understand.  A major problem here is that the IDF feels like it is trying to avoid killing civilians – such as when they drop leaflets warning people – but obviously many civilians are still killed.  In this kind of scenario, the end result matters more than intention.

Avi Shlaim has a powerful article in the Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine What Israel is doing is ultimately doing more damage to itself than it is to the Palestinians.  I want to stress, and hope people can internalize it, THERE IS NO MILITARY SOLUTION.

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What would it take?

Think Progress » White House, Israel Reject Conclusion Of Aid Groups That Humanitarian Crisis Exists In Gaza.

Of course it is unsurprising that the American and Israeli governments would deny a humanitarian crisis, it makes me wonder, how bad would it have to be for them to say it is?

Aside from the large number of civilan deaths, the living conditions for all Gazans are deteriorating rapidly.  Do we have to wait until people are literally starving to death?  It is amazing to me that Israeli governments consistently seem to believe this strategy will help Israel’s security.

There is an unwillingness to recognize the basic humanity of the Palestinians here.  I say this because how else could one explain the assumption that the Palestinians will react differently to their situation than any other people?  There are not a specific number of terrorists that can be killed.  The actions of the IDF will encourage new people to join Hamas and attack Israeli civilians.  And this would be understandable, because the IDF will kill many civilians for one wanted man, as seen in the assassination of Nizar Rayyan.

I am not interested in whether killing Rayyan is acceptable or smart in itself – but 18 civilians were killed along with him.  Two of his wives, and four of his children were among them.

And when will these attacks on Gaza end?  By refusing a cease-fire, Israel now needs concrete results before stopping, or it will face a situation like Lebanon.  How many dead civilians do there need to be before everyone agrees it is too much?

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