UN’s Jeffrey Feltman: “We believe 80% of Gaza’s casualties are civilians.”
I do not support Hamas or Israel. I am not anti religion. I am not anti-Jewish. I’m not religious – so I’m truly free to love all religions, or gloriously condemn them all for causing the insanity of man. I don’t agree with Hamas firing rockets into Israel, and I don’t agree with Israel placing trade sanctions on Palestine. I don’t agree with Hamas digging tunnels into Israel and kidnapping and killing the innocent. I don’t agree with the relatively small number of Zionists who travelled to Palestine in the late 1800s and wanted to turn Palestine into their homeland. I don’t agree with the UN dividing up the land of Palestine in 1947, but, oh, the brilliance of hindsight.
Before all this began, we should remember that for centuries there was no conflict. In the 19th century the land of Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population – approximately 86% Muslim, 10% Christian, and 4% Jewish – all living in peace. Since 1947 violence between Israel and Palestine has escalated, and yet our leaders ignore the facts that violence merely creates the escalation of violence. A signature on a peace agreement today will mean little to the fathers and mothers who now have dead children. Wisdom, has a mountain to climb.
The reaction TODAY from Israel is disproportionate. Sky News calls it a war, and the BBC coverage remains biased. According to the Cambridge dictionary a war is “any situation in which there is strong competition between opposing sides.” This is not a war. This is Goliath putting a stone in David’s hand and telling him if he doesn’t throw it he’ll stop David from feeding his family. So David throws the stone at Goliath. And then Goliath stamps on David. And his house. His friends. His parents. His wife. His children. And then blames David for throwing the stone.
You can maybe misfire one rocket into a UN safety zone. Perhaps, although with today’s technology, I’m dubious. But six? This is rapidly appearing like an attempt to wipe out an entire population of people. And still the world justifies. I wonder, when is enough? How many women and children have to die before somebody in power speaks out against the methods Israel are deploying? And how many men have to die? (Why do we see men as less important than a child or a woman? We are all life). During World War 2 America bombed Japan with leaflets telling the population that an atomic bomb was coming. These leaflets told the people of Japan to travel to Hiroshima, where they would be safe. Days later, after hundreds of thousands of women, children and innocent men had travelled to Hiroshima, the atomic bomb landed. I am guessing the voice of reason will not come from the Whitehouse. Nor will it come from the Houses of Parliament.
We all need to make up our own minds about what is acceptable and what is not. Ask yourself the question, is the aggression of Israel right? Are these tactics to defeat Hamas at all costs moral? At what point, is it not okay? My concern is many people are justifying the deaths of children because of the bigger picture, but tell me, where is the beauty in a bigger picture that appears perfect from afar, when up close it reveals itself to be formed from the mutilated corpses of thousands of dead children?
The devil, is in the details.
In the end, all that will remain of the human race will be our rusting weapons, and the statues of those who killed us. Unless we – the people – get our shit together and say no more killing. If you are a soldier of Israel or a fighter of Hamas – stop killing. Whoever your enemy is: don’t kill them. Whatever religion they are, wherever they live, no matter what they have done or might do, no matter what they hold in their hands or what they believe, no matter how they think, who they love or what flag they fly: don’t kill them.
Some think that the normal person in the street is too stupid to understand the conflict and so therefore shouldn’t comment on what they cannot understand. They say unless you are a politician you are too naive to understand the history between Judaism and Israel, and therefore should remain silent as bombs rain down on wide-eyed fatherless children. Well, I say the conflict is about understanding the history, yes – and then, after understanding it all – saying – hey, you know what? No attempt to complicate the reasons behind how we got to where we are today can overpower the basic simple fact that killing people in disproportionate numbers is wrong. Bankers made banking complicated to steal money, politicians tell the world we are too stupid to understand the depths of historical conflicts, in order to continue perpetuating crimes against all of humanity to maintain their power and influence.
Some believe you can’t know about the conflict, or take sides unless you are there. But to me, that feels like closing your eyes when the facts and information is all too readily available. Ignorance is a choice. We have no excuse for relying on mainstream media to shape our views. A person doesn’t need to be in a warzone to feel empathy for fellow human beings trapped in war: empathy doesn’t have a passport. Empathy doesn’t fly a flag or pray to a God. When innocent children become acceptable collateral damage in a war, then what are we fighting for? A better world? Because when the first child doesn’t come home, that better world no longer exists. You can’t reach heaven on a stair of bodies.
Our leaders do not represent us. They do what advances them, and then convince us (through the media) that their actions are in our better interests. There is no justification for the murder of children. There is nothing Obama or the leader of Israel or David Cameron or some journalist can say or write to convince me otherwise, and it surprises me how easily people are swayed by a decent speech. Our leaders are just people. And yes, history is powerful, but history is always a moment weaker than today.
I am not defending the actions of Hamas – it’s just that the numbers of the dead simply do not back up the logic of Cameron, Obama and Netanyahu. There is nothing complicated about the numbers. They are beautifully, hauntingly simple. One number is massive (the number of Palestinians dead) one number is small (the number of Israelis dead).
The first concern of American and UK politicians is not the children dying, but simply a political inconvenience: as the pile of dead children becomes a mountain the position of supporting Israel begins to make them look more like who they really are – psychopaths at the top of their game – because if my enemy stood behind children, I could not kill the children and blame my enemy. I would find another, less mass-murdering, way. But these leaders are not normal people, they’ll murder a thousand innocent people to kill one guilty enemy, and call it a glorious victory. And our leaders will applaud them. And the people will applaud their leaders.
I watched Prime Minster’s Question Time last week and he shirked 12 direct questions about Gaza. “How can you not think, Mr Prime Minister, that the offensive by Israel is disproportionate?” “Mr Prime Minister, the people I represent want a straight answer, do you think the Israeli offensive has become disproportionate? Yes or No?” David repeated the same answer to every question, which was to give no answer, and to repeat the words of Obama. He is not a leader. Ed Miliband did the same on the Andrew Marr show last weekend. These are not leaders. They do not represent my views and the peaceful views of millions. They remain silent when they should make a stand, and when killing children is part of the solution, then the silence of world leaders merely serves to facilitate the wrong answer.
I am not anti Israeli. I met a group of Israeli men when travelling and they were men of peace. Young men, with age in their eyes – they had been forced into military service and had come out the other side. They knew about peace because they had seen war. The soldiers of Israel are victims too. Any country that forces their children into the army is manipulating the minds of their children to turn them into compliant adults. The people of Israel are victims. The people of Gaza are victims.
It is time for our leaders to lead. And there’s only one place we need to be led. And that is to peace. Peace for all, because history tells us this ends with nobody winning and more empty classrooms.
People in power are those with the influence to steer countries to peace, or into wars. I wonder what’s really in the hearts of those who lead us today, when all around the world is death and crying children. Children no longer crying because of the monster under the bed, crying because of the real monster in this world – man, and our inability to love because of our fears and cravings for power and more lines in the sand.
There is hope. Social Media and the Internet might just save us from ourselves. Victims of violence perpetuated by political regimes now have a voice. They can post to Twitter, Facebook and publish their stories. Right now, today, Twitter is flooded with images of the innocent victims of horrific violence. Dead children, missing heads – the true horror of war can now be seen from the armchair. Perhaps if evil can be seen, evil can be held accountable. The Internet is becoming the mirror the normal person can hold up to the face of the devil. And every year, as Twitter and Facebook and blogs grow in popularity, the mirror grows larger. And the people who hold the mirror grow more determined. One day the devil will have nowhere to look but in the mirror, and on that day, I believe the world and politics will change.
Listen to your own intuitive consciousness and ask yourself the question: is the decision by Israel to destroy Hamas at any cost morally right?
I believe that to say there is no other choice but to kill children who are in the way of an enemy, is merely to spend less time than needed in finding the right answer.
But that’s just me. You have to make up your own mind.
To support Amnesty International, who don’t care about sides but do care about life, click on this link:
You can donate a few quid, or you can click on the above link and send an email protesting against the UK arming Israel. It takes 25 seconds.
And in the future it might just save the life of a child.