Monday, November 19, 2012

Fairly Unbalanced

The recent attacks in Gaza have been canvassed by news agencies from all over the world. Here in the US, most of the coverage has been about Israel's retaliation to Palestinian aggression. In other words, we're victimizing Israel....again.

I've put the question of our support for Israel out there before. Why do we continue to support a nation that so blatantly disregards our values? They violate treaties, kill innocent people, and are engaging in social discrimination against an entire civilization. In the past, when countries have done things like this (Iraq in the '90s, and currently Libya come to mind), we've been very outspoken in our contempt for their decisions and have gone so far in some cases to put boots on the ground to stop the hostilities.

But Israel is different.

Let's look at this most recent round of attacks. It was sparked when the military leader of the Hamas movement was killed. He was killed while reviewing a draft of a peace treaty between Palestine and Israel. Despite discussing peace between their cultures, Israel was still conducting air strikes. In these most recent attacks, three Israelis have been killed and about a dozen injured. Many of the missiles have been stopped by Israel's missile defense system, which was bankrolled by the US. By contrast, over 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks, and over 700 injured. Many of the dead and injured include families with children.

Considering these numbers, and the amount of violence, the US would normally condemn the aggressor. In this case, most of our lawmakers, political pundits, and media groups are defending Israel in their continued attacks. And while most are still watching the death toll rise, it's largely being ignored that we are supporting the side that is butchering innocent civilians.

Israel, to their credit, has stated that they want peace rather than a prolonged military action against Palestine. Meanwhile, Palestine has demanded that a cease-fire include the ending of the blockade of Palestine. The whole thing is being worked out by Egypt, it seems, who appears to be playing referee at this point. So, when the smoke clears and the dust settles, will anything have changed?

I hope that we use this as a learning experience. We can be as nice and supportive to our allies as we want, but we can't turn a blind eye to genocide. Because the continued persecution of Palestine by Israel is just that. And if we blindly support a country engaging in genocide, doesn't that make us complicit in that?

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