For weeks now, there has been much turmoil between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza. While Hamas continues to fire rockets, Israel has defended itself by making sure that those rockets don’t reach their land. However, they have retaliated against Hamas by firing into Gaza, which has no such defense capabilities, and recently has engaged in a ground invasion.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increasingly criticized the media for displaying what he deems a distorted view of conflict between Israel and Hamas. But are the reports really off as he claims? I don’t think so. Much of the media have asked Israel tough questions about their motivations in Gaza, understanding that their power is many times greater. In addition, most of the victims of this conflict are Palestinian civilians, and not Hamas militants. In my opinion, the media has accurately assessed the fact more Palestinians have died in comparison to the Israelis. Israel’s protection using the Iron Dome system, provided by the American government, limited their death toll to only a few while the return strikes into Gaza has led to almost 600 deaths with an estimated 70% being civilians according to the United Nations. The military death tolls has reached almost 30 on the Israeli side, many of which occurred after they invaded Gaza. But the invasion and possible re-occupation persists and the killing continues and to be honest, the media is often biased in favor of Israel, so I’m not sure why Netanyahu is upset.
Yes, Hamas can be considered terrorists. They don’t always behave in the best interest of the people they represent and they often do very despicable and things. However, even if you blame this conflict on Hamas for shooting rockets into Israel, the civilian death toll on the Palestinian side has be deplorable. Israel has neutralized much of Hamas’ threat with the U.S. backed Iron Dome. But to continue to fire into Gaza, knowing that you are harming hundreds of civilians is unconscionable.
We need a new effort to push the United States to divest from Israel. We need to stop supporting American companies that supply the Israeli military and stop allowing the American government to provide so much money to essentially annihilate their neighboring countries.
Why can’t people express their support for Israel without supporting the contribution to civilian suffering on the other side? It is not a crazy idea to support Israel’s right to defend itself while supporting peace and civility. Israel’s reactions to Hamas’ attacks are not civil and are definitely not humane.
Some in the international community have accused Israel of war crimes. I’m not an international relations or war expert, but here’s what I do know. Israel has the ability to dominate Gaza and they can do it with ease thanks to their consistent support from the United States. Knowing their military power and their effects on the Palestinian civilians, the Israelis should be ashamed that their military is continuing this unnecessary assault on Gaza. Maybe with a little less U.S. funding on hand, they will be a little more conciliatory in their approach to peace in the region.
While there is much more that I can express, particularly on the history of the land that Israel occupies, I think that it is important for now to bring the current issue to light in hopes that Israel will back down on their recent assault on Gaza.
*Credit CNN and NBC News for the photos.
Categories: International Events