I’ve put together a few replies to some of the more common questions and accusations in regards to the Gaza conflict.
Please read and share:
1. “Israeli airstrikes have killed hundreds of Palestinians, while far less Israeli have been killed.”
When this is raised as a complaint, it’s one of the most annoying and disturbing ones out there. I do realize that most people are simply trying to point out that the conflict is somewhat disproportionate, but there’s a very dark implication in this complaint that I have to hope people who raise it just don’t realize – ‘if only more Jews could be killed, we’d have a bit more of a “fair fight”. It’s just not fair that only one has died, we need to fill the quota so that it matches up to the Palestinians. if only these crafty Jews would stop defending themselves so effectively with that Iron Dome system, and let a few more missiles fall on their major cities, we could have more of a fair match to comfortably read about here in the US’. I think that if more people understood this dark implication, they’d stop raising this filthy complaint.
2. “70% of Palestinian casualties are civilians.”
Correction – close to 100% are civilians. Most people seem to be confused about what militants are, and about what it means to launch a rocket one second, and to run into a house as an unarmed civilian a second later. Does a person somehow go in and out of ‘civilianhood’ depending on what he/she does at any given moment? Pretty much any suicide bomber is a civilian, Taliban militants are civilians, every one of the 9-11 hijackers was a civilian. The distinction we need to make is between combatants and noncombatants. Enough with this “civilian casualties” nonsense.
3. “Israel has some of the deadliest and most advanced weaponry in the world, while the Palestinians just have some small homemade missiles.”
Again, the attempt to look for some kind of a fair fight is a very troubling one – one that’s often taken by people living halfway around the planet, who seem to want to comfortably open up their laptops and read about more of an aesthetically pleasing fair fight. Just ask yourself if you’d like to have more of a fair fight with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
It’s also no less important to realize what the weapons are used for. I admit I’m not a fan of slogans, and the one about Israel using its missiles (the Iron Dome system) to protect its civilians, while the Hamas uses its civilians to protect its missiles, sounds kind of annoying. For one thing, it doesn’t take into account all the bombs and missiles that the Israeli airstrikes drop and launch on the Gaza strip. But as soon as you realize that these airstrikes target the missile launchers, the ammunition caches and the logistical support around these things, you understand that there’s quite a bit in common between shooting down missiles in midair and shooting at the missiles before they’re launched. Launching missiles into heavily populated cities with the implicit intent to kill as many people as you can, on the other hand – as the Hamas is doing – is quite a different thing.
4. “This is all because of the occupation, and because the blockade on the Gaza strip”
For starters, the blockade only started AFTER Israel pulled out of the Gaza strip. I’ll be the first to say that indefinitely blockading this stretch of land is neither morally nor politically sustainable, but when you have a fundamentalist Islamic organization that is plotting your annihilation, and actively trying to stockpile weapons and deploy them for that very purpose, it leaves you with very limited options. If you want a blockade or an occupation to end, shooting rockets into Israel is absolutely the wrong way to go about it. Shooting rockets into Israel will demonstrate exactly why the blockade IS so important to maintain. If you want an occupation or a blockade to end, there’s a very clear way to do this – it’s called a peace process.