I heartily profess to be no expert on middle eastern affairs, Judaism, Islam, Palestine, or the history of any of these regions/religions.
I am however a human being with empathy and an opinion. And a sense of fair play. Some call it common sense.
28 Palestinian children…children…have been killed in the last 24 hours. 27 Israeli soldiers have died since Operation Protective Edge has begun. Young men defending their country against an onslaught of rocket fire from the terrorist organization Hamas. They didn’t need to die.
This is the broad outline. The justifications are spewed by both sides. “They don’t recognize our right to exist…they are terrorists bent on genocide…we have a right to defend our citizens”. Hyperbolic statements are the order of the generation. And the truth lies in all corners.
The Jews have indeed suffered since the times of Ramses II. They are the so-called “chosen people” and have suffered a millenia of genocide and displacement. They are the proverbial abused child.
But study after study shows that the child who is abused, quite often becomes the abuser. And institutionally, I believe this is the case with the state of Israel.
Don’t get me wrong. They have terrorists at the door step (and tunnels) and they certainly have a responsibility to defend their state. But how much is too much?
I’m reminded of the legal concept of self-defense. An individual is allowed to use the same measure of force when repelling an assault.
Can the state of Israel claim this moral high ground? Of course not; and therein lies the fundamental problem and the solution to this conflict.
We, the United States, have wisely invested in the security of Israel for generations. However, the politicians who have been the beneficiary of this military aid…this state of the art weaponry, have been irresponsible in their deployment.
And I, as a tax paying American citizen, demand that my government take immediate action to stop the killing. We have the ability to be a game changer in this centuries old conflict, but we lack the moral courage to do it. It simply doesn’t poll well.
I see a glimmer of hope when the moderates in Israel are finally speaking out against their grossly aggressive government policies. For too long Israel has received a pass, largely as the result of empathy with their historic plight.
That ends now…at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s time for those moderates in Israel to demand restraint. To demand that their government take the moral high ground and rely on their superior defensive technologies. Put the onus of blame on the extremist in Hamas and garner the support of the region and the world.
Stop being the bully, protect your citizens through restraint. Stop the campaign to eliminate your neighbors and just take a deep breath and realize…children are dying. Innocent little boys and girls.
A paradigm shift is all that will end this endless loop of blood.
The killing must stop…