Thursday, November 15, 2012

Netanyahu’s political pandering leads to more Palestinian bloodshed

Time and again when the actions of a Palestinian group result in as much as scratching an Israeli citizen, the Israeli military retaliates. Using the logic of ‘might makes right,’ which plays itself out in cycles of bloodshed, Palestinians have to die. This is the logic of extremes, devoid of dignity, signaling little respect for human rights and the autonomy of democracies. The logic paves a path to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office and overlays that path with Palestinian blood. The motivation behind Netanyahu’s call to arms is the inexorable political pandering to his right-wing coalition, and the lives of Palestinians should not get in his way.

The horror sewn by Israeli might is tragic. Blood soaked boxes of Palestinian body parts are the evidence of the loss of innocent civilians. These boxes, collected by paramedics after the Israeli assault and visible in film footage, may set into motion a counter logic among the Gaza militia to target Israeli civilians. Like in ancient Greek tragedies, an unstoppable cycle of revenge might escalate.

Where are the voices of reason sickened by random rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and bombings of Palestinians? “Let’s send the people of Gaza to heaven”, said one Israeli politician as his country’s army was shelling people living less than 20 minutes away from their headquarters.   

While people of Gaza have seen a lot of suffering and God knows what the top Israeli war generals have in store for them, I have spotted grown men crying at the scene of the blood and the ambulance. I fear for my family who have been made refugees in Gaza for 64 years now. Sixty Years ago, they fled for safety in Gaza. Now they are being bombarded again by the descendants of those who have made them refugees in the first place.

Cruelty upon cruelty is the only way to describe the plight of the Palestinians who have been under siege since 2007. My family closed their businesses early and went into hiding in different places to increase the odds of their survival. Their  neighborhood in Beit Lahia has already been targeted by the Israeli Airforce. Children in these areas are unsure what to make of the strange times they have yet to understand.

The Israeli government will tell you that they are running surgical operations in Gaza and expect you to cheer them on. But by their actions, this Israeli government has only taken Hamas seriously and has never bothered to talk to the peace-minded Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. President Abbas is waiting for a phone call and all he gets is mockery and insults from various government officials in this Israeli coalition. Netanyahu’s government has marginalized both the Palestinian peace movement and his own. In essence, they have empowered the hawks at home and in Gaza.     

While many militants have been murdered by the Israeli military campaign on Gaza, some civilians have also been killed. Take four year old girl Anan Arafat, who has just been pulled out of the rubbles of her family home in Gaza. How the Israelis find themselves threatened by a four year old is a mystery to me.  If killing Palestinians gives some Israelis short-term peace of mind and comfort, I hate to think what any future peace agreements with such characters would look like.




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