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Total number of comments: 1 (since 2012-11-15 16:22:18)

A student of comparitive religion, who loves the common values of decency in the heart of every faith I have encountered.

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  • Gaza Under Attack: International eyewitnesses call for action
    • The article above fails to mention a few things about the current situation in Souther Israel and Gaza:

      Over 600 rockets had been fired from Gaza into civilian Israeli cities and towns BEFORE Israel executed an airstrike killing the man coordinating those attacks. (I read the article multipule times, and nowhere does in mentions the rockets falling on southern Israel from Gaza, or the families who for weeks have had to sleep in bomb shelters)

      Gaza has no military bases. Although the IDF is doing its best to not target civilians as it tries to end the Gazan rocket attacks on southern Israel, the rockets being fired on Israel are coming out of civilian population centers in Gaza. Instead of being placed in open areas away from civilians (which would help protect non-combatant Gazans if Israel decided to stop "absorbing" (the word used by the Israeli press to describe the government allowing rockets to fall in Israel without retaliating) rocket fire), Hamas has chosen to use cities as bases of operation. This forces the IDF to risk civilian casualtiese when they try to stop the rockets, or take no steps to defend the civilian population centers. I wonder if the leaders of the militant wing of Hamas asked the civilian in Gaza City or Rafah how they felt about that?

      Israel does have military bases. Unlike US military bases, Israeli military bases do NOT have civilians living there. The rockets from Gaza have not been aimed toward those bases, though. Instead, they target fields at times of day when they are being worked and towns and cities full of civilians who want more than anything to be non-combatants. The weapons used by the Gazans are not "smart". They are not capable of being targeted against individuals, only areas. They may not harm anyone (Baruch Ha'Shem, rockets from Gaza often hurt property and miss people!) when they fall, or they may strike schools, malls, and family homes.

      There are casualties on BOTH sides. The article only mentions the harm to civilian Gazans. When citing the targeted killing of Ahmed al Jabari, the article says he is the chief of the Hamas military. It does not mention that he ordered the firing of THOUSANDS of rockets over the years against Israeli population centers. Israel has known who he is for years- he is a public government figure after all. Why the government chose now to go after him, I don't know. Instead of sending ground troups knocking on doors, however, Israel took the time to gather enough intelligence that when it chose to move against him, it bombed one car, in an intersection, AFTER the car had passed by a school bus. If you have seen the video of the bombing, then you saw that the car was in traffic. The bomb was not released until there were no other cars nearby.

      I write all of this not to say Israel is right in engaging in an armed response. Or wrong to. I merely want to offer perspective. For the longest time Israel did nothing to protect its civilian population centers, and instead allowed rockets to continue falling unchecked. People's lives were punctuated by sirens and sprints to bomb shelters. The only media I say covering the multiple rockets that fell each day was Israeli. The world stood silent. Why?

      Now that Israeli civilians are not the only ones being targeted by explosions, the world cries out. Some are calling for a mutual ceasefire, and I love the idea of that! But some, like this article, make NO mention of the attacks that have been falling on Israel all year, and that in the past week have escalated dramatically.

      In the past three days, Rockets have also fallen on Israel from the Egyptian and Syrian borders. Where is the international outcry? Where were the activists demanding the fire cease? Why did it take Israel shooting back before they spoke up? And why doesn't the article mention any of the above?

      I want to live to see the day where there is a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli one. Each respecting the other's laws, borders, sovereignty, and rights to trade whatever they want with whomever they want. When rockets fall on cities year after year, when governing bodies warn they are readying suicide bombers...it does not help the cause of peace.

      With statehood comes a military. Without a military, Hamas has launched ceaseless attacks on Israeli population centers. They claim these attacks are for the freedom of all Palestinians. Maybe, just maybe, those attacks are frightening the Israeli government? If they choose to rain down this much trauma without the tools statehood would make available (an air force perhaps? The ability to legitimately engage in international trade to equip a military with a larger quantity of more effective weapons?), what assurances would the Israeli government have that this behavior would stop after statehood?

      When we view this conflict from afar, when we ask why Palestine does not exist as a self-governing state yet, we have to bear in mind the full picture. When we see bombs fall, we have to ask "Why now?" Articles like the one on Mondoweiss fail to acknowledge, explore, or contextualize the events they report on.

      The activist comunity has a loud voice. Let it be one that reports ALL conflicts, that mourns ALL deaths, and call for peace from ALL side.

      (The Rabbi in my heart wants to end this with a prayer for peace. Not all who will read this are religious, and those who are may not share MY religion. If you pray, and you want, please let your soul yearn for those who battle to find the strength to end the fight, look each other in the eyes, and TALK their way to mutual respect, security, and...may it be in our lives...Statehood.)

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