Whenever Hamas attacks Israel, who responds with the bombing of Gaza, opinions are wide spread. Often they are tainted by racism, xenophobia, and all out insanity. That is a huge problem when you look at America's relationship with Israel, and how many in Washington, and the media, side with the 62-year-old country.
When Barack Obama says America is , "Fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself," he is taking sides, and by doing so he is ignoring the sins of the Israeli government while the weaponry used on Gazan residents comes from the American taxpayer. When he adds, "-if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they're much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded." Obama is ignoring the costs of a ground war to Palestinians who are getting bombed out of their homes.
On November 19, the Hajizi family was watching television when a bomb fell on their home. Three of the ten family members were killed, two of them small children, the father of the family, who was not in Hamas (he was a school security guard). The man's 19-year-old daughter Noud is lying in a hospital bed with a shattered spine. She does not know that her four-year-old, and two-year-old brothers Mohammad and Suhaib, along with her father are dead. The lives of Palestinian children don't matter, it is rarely mentioned, and it sounds like Barack Obama doesn't care.
The number of casualties on both sides, are numbers that are not even close. Since 2000, 6,617 Palestinians have died. How many Israelis have died? 1,097. Included in those numbers are 1, 452 Palestinian children and a miniscule in comparison 124 Israeli children. And people say Hamas should be eliminated for killing Israeli children, when the Israeli Defense Force has killed almost a thousand more Palestinian children.
The real fact of the matter is that Israel bombs first and asks questions later. And they have no qualms about committing war crimes. Take a look at this video produced by the Guardian. In it there is video and photographic evidence of the IDF using Palestinian children as human shields. That act is a war crime that has gotten little media attention.
Civilians in Gaza have been killed, or left homeless. They can't rebuild because of the blockade. In Gaza you can't export concrete to rebuild your home. The people of Gaza can't farm because fertilizer is banned. They can't rebuild the homes the IDF destroyed since lumber, concrete, and most construction materials are among the banned products.
Half of all Gazans, and 63 per cent of Palestinians are unemployed. Seventy per cent "in(the) Gaza Strip are living below the poverty line of 2US$ a day," those are not the conditions that foster peace. Palestinians are locked up and are isolated from any sort of a comfortable life. Checkpoints, and blockades make them resemble prisoners.
But the Palestinians aren't humans. Every single one of them is a blood-thirsty terrorist that should be extinguished from earth. At least that is what the son of a former Israeli Prime Minister and other Israelis think.
In an article posted on Salon.com, Natasha Lennard took excerpts from Gilad Sharon's op-ed in the Jerusalem Post where he wrote, "We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza." Sharon added, "The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren't hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences." Like Lennard suggested in her piece, Sharon is "endorsing civilian deaths."
The insanity doesn't start there. In a column that appeared in the Israeli Hareetz newspaper, Gidseon Levy responded to a poll of Israelis that expressed outright racism. "One-third of Israelis want to deny Arab citizens the right to vote; about half of Israelis favor a policy of "transferring" Arabs out of the country; and a majority says there is apartheid here." Those stats revealed the pessimism of Levy, "We need to finally give up on the hope that things will get better."
Levy also concluded, "Until a courageous leadership arises here, the kind that appears only rarely in history, and tries to change this nationalist, racist mood, there's no point in hoping for change to come from below. "
It is undeniable that racism has ripped through Israel. The distrust and distaste of Palestinians is obvious. They do have some reason for the racism, as Hamas and Hezbolah have littered their country with rockets that have killed innocent Israelis, but is that a valid excuse? No.
You can't expect peace when the Western governments of the world take sides. You can't expect peace when the American government gives Israel 3 billions dollars a year in aid that often goes to new weapons to kill Palestinians. You can't expect peace when the United States government ignores the killing of innocent Palestinians. No peace will come when Israel is allowed to build settlements on Palestinian land.
The American government and the Israeli special interests have ignored Israel's sin, and have painted the Palestinians as the only bad guys in this decades-long conflict.
Although a cease-fire has been agreed on, peace won't last. Cease fires have been agreed on before, and yet thousands of innocent Israelis and Palestinians have been killed.
Israel's sins must be recognized, along with the sins of Hamas, and the militants in Gaza, for any peace to happen. If you were Palestinian and you were ripped from your homes, and banned from returning, and then had your child(ren) killed in an air strike, you wouldn't be happy. And you would be angered that a government like America who claims they are for peace, allows Israel to bomb away.
Peace will come when both sides admit fault, stop the violence, and allow for prosperity, peace, and forgiveness.