Another blogger wrote this in the comments for one of my pages. I felt she wrote beautifully and said good things, so I’ve posted it here. My favourite part is near the end. Please, please Israel, do something amazing.
Wow, I appear to have moved onto an ostrich farm. Where all the ostriches can say is “but HAMAS!”
Yes, Hamas firing rockets into Israel is wrong. Of course it is, you don’t need a PhD in International Law and Order to figure that one out. However, the key issue here is the use of “proportionate response” in order to defend oneself – something Israel has either willfully ignored or just plain doesn’t understand. I feel a need to tread lightly here because I’ve gone through a few rounds of “oh, you’re an anti-Semite” over the years in my response to the whole Gaza/West Bank issue, but responses to this most recent round of atrocities is making my blood boil.
Leaving aside the issue of the occupation and that stupid bloody concrete wall Israel insisted on building (because yay! Collective memory loss on the part of an entire nation brought up to remember the most god-awful moment in its people’s history!), the fact Hamas were voted into power doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference. In the UK David Cameron and Nick Clegg were “voted into power” – I didn’t bloody vote for them, but I’m still bound by their policies and whatever stupid decisions they feel entitled to make. Doesn’t mean I agree with them, and just because Hamas got into power doesn’t mean every single Palestinian agrees with THEM. Furthermore, Israel is playing directly into Hamas’ hands with the disproportionate reaction it’s unleashing. Here you have an entire population living on a tiny strip of land, forced further and further inwards because of the blockades and the walls and the fact Egypt has closed its border, and they are being bombed, shot at, starved and deprived of access to both their jobs, their families on the West Bank and in Jerusalem etc, and medical care. That to me equates to a population so desperate they have literally nothing left to lose, and that means Hamas can play on that and get support for its actions. All Israel is doing is making a whole lot of people disaffected and angry; in the confined space of Gaza you have a volcano waiting to erupt.
For too long governments have sat back and let the Israeli government slowly but surely erode the human rights of the ordinary men, women and children of the West Bank and Gaza, too afraid of being called “anti-Semitic” or striking a Holocaust-related nerve. But for Israel, a country born out of the horrors of attempted genocide and mass slaughter, which quite rightly wants to ensure no one ever forgets the atrocities committed on an entire population, to seemingly enact similar genocidal atrocities on the people of Gaza is abhorrent in the extreme. Israel is the wealthier country, the better-equipped country, the one with all the military might and power; they need to step up and be “the bigger man” in this situation. An eight month old baby is not a terrorist. A four year old boy is not a terrorist. Hundreds of men, women and children barricaded onto a tiny strip of land behind a concrete wall are not terrorists. What they are, right here and now, is sitting ducks.
There is a way to seek an end to this latest round of mass murder. It involves Israel having the balls to put down its weapons, be the “bigger man” and step up to the negotiating table with the absolute intention of doing something amazing. Right now they have all the power to kill. If they’d stop being so arrogant and bloody-minded, they’d realise they also have all the power to create peace. It may not be a lasting peace, it may not be the result either they or Hamas want, but it would be a start. Israel was born of bloodshed and pain – right now it looks as though Israel is seeking to end Gaza in the same fashion…