With the recent war in Gaza currently at a ceasefire, I thought it was worth addressing some of the issues to come out of this crisis.
I was struck by the news footage of a young Palestinian girl of about 9 years old, laid in a hospital bed with injuries from the bombings. With candour she recalled her experiences, eliciting much sympathy. She went on to say how she hoped the Israelis would ‘die’ for what they have done to us. To speak in this way, and harbor such views at such a tender age, was proof for me of the ‘systematic brainwashing’ that goes on in Palestine.
Former US president Jimmy Carter received widespread ridicule for his views on the events in Gaza, directing his criticism at Israel as the aggressors in the conflict stating:
“There is no human or legal justification for the way Israel Defence Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools and hospitals”
With his bizarre and deluded statement, even heaping praise on Hamas, widely regarded as a terrorist organization, the former president ignored many of the facts, and was rightly accused of anti-Semitism.
Our own politicians didn’t fair much better, as if in unison they called for Israel to show restraint and for ‘proportionality’ in their response to Hamas.
From the outset, Israel had pledged to protect their citizens from any bombardment from Hamas, with their far superior fire power and missile defence system, The Iron Dome, acquired from the US, they were well equipped to do so.
Yet, based on the history between these nations, it is my belief that Israel would be willing to do anything, giving in to any ‘reasonable’ demand, if it meant lasting peace with Palestine.
However, apparently they are expected to passively wait to be attacked, and if Hamas had their way, wiped completely from existence.
The tragic loss of life, over 2000 deaths, many of them children, was horrendous and shocking to observers, but in contrast to how these events were reported by much of the media, I believe the blame should be laid squarely at the door of Hamas.
Hamas, often disregarding any agreed ceasefire after a matter of just a few hours, would continue firing rockets into Israel, firing from schools and other public places, allegedly even setting their timers for the end of school day. They endangered the lives of their own citizens, as Israel were so adept at homing in on their positions at source, causing inevitable loss of life, and providing further propaganda for the world’s media against Israel.
In their defence, Israel would fire warning shots known as the ‘knock on the roof’ bombing technique, allowing the inhabitants of a building a few minutes to evacuate before the building is destroyed. Which was more than Hamas afforded their own citizens, who were merely ‘human shields’ and expendable in their mission to destroy the inhabitants of Israel. Also using a wide network of tunnels leading into Israel, causing further provocation of their neighbours.
Former president Jimmy Carter highlighted the goals of Hamas as wanting recognition as a political player on the world stage, demanding that Israel concedes to all its terms and removing all restriction of access in and out of the Gaza strip, only then will Hamas be provided ‘incentives to lay down it’s weapons’.
It is clear that Hamas has only one agenda, and that is the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population.
In August 2014 the Israeli Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, gave a moving speech at Platform 17 in Berlin in memory of the Holocaust victims, in which he described the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany, who were effectively paralysed by fear, unable to fully comprehend the ‘totality of evil’ they were being confronted with. “Why didn’t they fight? That is the question that haunts me. That is the question that the Jewish people have struggled with since the last train left for Auschwitz”. He ended by saying, “we will not board that train again. We will protect ourselves from total evil”.
All Israel wants is to be recognized as a Jewish state by its neighbours, and be allowed to continue their lives without the threat of attack.
We can only hope that for Israel, lasting peace is not just a distant dream.