Once again Israel has illustrated that she cares little about public opinion. Israel has shown that she has the shameless audacity to bomb civilians in her so called attempt to fight Hamas terrorists. She blames civilian deaths on the fact that Hamas uses civilians as shields. This senseless bombing of Gaza by more than sixty F16 bombers killing (until now) almost 400 and injuring thousands is as horrendous an act as if the U.S government bombed Long Island in order to eradicate the Mafia! So far only four Israelis have died. The Israelis call it a war. How can this be a war when the other side has no army?
Can we really blame Gazans for fighting the blockading power, which has squeezed the life out of them in an inhumane and draconian siege and blockade, by shooting off the rockets they have? Does the death a handful of people justify the killing of hundreds? Does one wrong ever justify a greater more horrendous wrong?
The audacity of Israel, not his own daring to hope, is what our new president has to address if he wants to bring about real change in this world. Real change does not come in the life-style choices of the President of the United States but in acknowledging the policy-changing truth we know about our allies! Surely no one can delude themselves into thinking that what Israel is doing in Gaza is in any way legitimate. This kind of disproportionate reprisal is not the act of responsible democratic regimes; it is the stuff of colonial bullies the acts of genocidal megalomaniacs. Let me use a domestic analogy from my own life as a mom.
What Israel is doing, bombing Gaza indiscriminately because a couple of lives were lost in rocket launches by a desperate Hamas, is the equivalent of my younger daughter (Hamas) pushing my older, much stronger son, to get to the food on the table and my son (Israel) turning around in anger and smashing his sisters head with a baseball bat and then saying, “but mom she kept doing it over again! She wouldn’t stop!” It is horrendously disproportionate and down right sick and psychotic behavior.
The fact that Israel is a bully is no news. The fact that she is unafraid to act undemocratically is also not new. What needs to be understood, however, is that the audacious militarism and rampant disregard for international laws that she displays time and again are responsible for making the world an unsafe place for all of us.
The unconditional American support for Israel that even a parent would not show a mad and psychotic child, is the number one cause of why America is hated in the world. The support and tolerance of Israel by the West does not only nurture Islamic Fundamentalists and terrorists but it actually gave birth to them. On the one hand we have students and intellectuals in Iran trying hard, against all odds, and with much risk to their lives, to oppose the extremist Islamist regime on the other there is Israel acting like a bully justifying in the minds of many Iranians and Muslims around the world the actions and tough talk of Ahmadinejad.
Every time Israel acts in this belligerent, illegal and sadistic fashion our plight for secularism is pushed aside for the more immediate plight of fighting an unjust occupying power in Palestine. So Israel does not only breed terrorists in her own backyard but hinders any indigenous move away from Islamic Fundamentalism in the entire region. She perpetuates divisiveness in a region that is trying hard to find its secular and democratic voice only because she herself has lost her original identity as a place of hope.
If Israel had kept her promise of being a promised land, of being a place of refuge, if Israel had kept her identity as a haven for the unjustly oppressed surely she would not have to bomb half of her population to keep the other half safe? This trigger-happy response in itself reveals Israel’s paranoid view of herself. After more than a half century of unquestioned supremacy in the region Israel has failed to forge an identity of a mature democratic state at peace, at least, with her own citizens. Surely this could not be entirely blamed on the ‘Arabs.’ Israel needs to shed her paranoia; she needs to see that no one can push her off the map. She needs to realize that the only solution to her problems and ours is to have the audacity to change. To stop being a military base and grow up into a state built on the principals of the right of peoples to self-determination.
Israel needs to wake up and see how she can be an example that counters terrorism and extremism in the region not the problem that perpetuates it. Only Israelis can bring about peace in the region, let us hope those Israelis who think like me will some day prevail. Let us hope that the West stops blindly supporting the regime in Israel and gives the world badly needed and real change.
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