Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Gaza, Israel, and the Blood Pipeline
As Israel's ground assault on Gaza continues, it's now a humanitarian horror story.
“We are wading in death, blood, and amputees. Many children. A pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything so terrible. Now we hear tanks. Pass it on, send it around, shout it out. Anything. DO SOMETHING! DO MORE!
And the silence of the world is now intolerable.
Because this is mass murder.
Israel has every right to defend itself. The brutish religious fanatics from Hamas must share a large part of the blame. But Israel's tactics are simply inexcusable.
You cannot use tanks, artillery, and massive air strikes to clear a path for your soldiers in a crowded urban area where more than half the innocent civilians cowering in their homes are children.
And those civilians have nowhere to run.
You can't target people who are trying to pick up the wounded.
It's simply not done. A civilized nation doesn't act like that.
And for what? Does the Israeli government really believe that they can break the will of the miserable Palestinian people by drowning them in blood? Do they really believe that kind of bloodbath will make Palestinians turn to the moderates, instead of driving them into the arms of the Islamists? And if so what planet do they live on?
Oh boy. It's so depressing. My only consolation is that some of the strongest voices of protest are coming from within Israel itself.
Like Gideon Levy and his legend of the blood pipeline.
Yes, I know, war is war. After all, they brought this on themselves. They are a terrorist organization and we are not. They want to destroy us and we seek peace. Still, is there nothing here that will stop this blood pipeline? Even those whose hearts are hardened by "moral righteousness" will have to momentarily halt the bombing machine and ask: Which Israel do we have before us?
What will become of its standing in the world, which is now watching the events in Gaza? What are we inflicting on the moderate Arab regimes? And what of the simmering popular hatred we are sowing throughout the world? What good will emerge from this killing and destruction?
Or this other Israeli, who despite living under the threat of Hamas rockets, points the way to the future.
We will know peace only when we accept the fact that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have every right to lives of dignity. We will know peace only when we recognize that we must negotiate with Hamas, our enemy, even if we are devastated that the Palestinians did not elect a more moderate party to lead them. We will know peace only when our leaders stop considering our lives cheap and expendable, and help us create a beautiful, green Negev, free of fear and despair.
Oh I know the warmongers on both sides will dismiss her and call her naive. But what better plan do they have?
Sixty years of war have only brought both sides to this bloody dead end. And driven them both mad.
Israel needs to moderate its tactics. Hamas needs to end its pathetic rocket campaign. We need a ceasefire as soon as possible. We need to open the borders and let in food, medicines, and surgical teams. A strong international force needs to go in to separate both sides, stop rockets from being smuggled in, and guarantee the safety of Palestinians and Israelis.
A viable Palestinian state needs to be created as soon as possible to offer all those young people in the occupied territories some hope, instead of more despair and violence.
Because until that happens the horror will continue. Everybody will lose.
And the blood pipeline will flow....in both directions.... FOREVER...