I do not claim to be knowledgeable about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the years I have tried to read, watch and learn what exactly they are fighting about, to no specific end. But they are and have been fighting, be it silently or by the roar of weaponry.
Let me additionally plead ignorance to what might be my country’s continued and unwavering support of Israel in this combat. The latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, as I understand it, began with attacks from Israel. Hundreds of them. These attacks were reportedly in response to months of rocket-fire from Palestine. The recent rash of violence has left at least 40 Palestinians dead and 400 injured. Including children and civilians. The retaliation from Hamas, Palestine’s militant group has left 3 Israelis dead and 50 injured.
Yet, the word from the white house is that Israel “has the right to defend itself”, and is solidly behind Israeli actions. I beg your pardon, but could we put this in a metaphor?
Let’s say I live in a bad neighborhood. There is a gang of five that has been parked in the driveway. Anytime I try to go outside, the biggest of them gets out of the car with an assault rifle. There is another car that stops my friends when they try to bring me food and other supplies. Finally, I’m tired of it, and I start throwing tchotchkes at their windshield from the second story. The next day, they open fire through my bedroom window and throw some grenades for good measure.
Am I to believe that the justice system would see that these thugs “have the right to defend themselves”?
I am by no means advocating violence or agreeing with Palestinian militants, but I am appalled that the government we entrust with the general well-being of its citizens continues to stoop to choosing sides, as though attending a middle school fist fight. Neither the actions of the Palestinians or the Israelis should be condoned or tolerated if our goal is to better the lives of the global citizenry. Putting the power of the United States Government behind what it would in other circumstances call terrorism is inconsistent, irresponsible and manipulative.
Why do they do it? A complex labyrinth of reasons that I will not try to understand. The great part is that the future is malleable, just like this past will someday be twisted, kinked and stretched.
It can change, and so can we. Starting whenever we’re ready.