As I watched the fighting between Hamas and Israel this past week, I could not help but feel this is a one sided assault, it is too lopsided for it to be called a war, or even a battle for that matter. Since Monday more than 100 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli air raids and naval bombardments. An 80 year old women, four year old child, and patrons at a cafe on the beach, just to name a few of the civilians killed.
The propaganda is heavy on both sides, but the over all message which is being drilled into the heads of people all around the world is that Israelis are the victim. That the daily lives of thousands of Israelis are being interrupted, that the people are traumatized from the barrage of rockets and missiles fired at them this week. How we are constantly being told that the Israeli government goes to great lengths not to harm Palestinian civilians in the bombings. How it is Hamas that is hiding behind Palestinian civilians and attacking Israeli civilians. Still the destruction I see is one sided. The vast majority of Israelis citizens receive some type of warning of incoming rockets, while the Palestinians have no such luxury. There is no app for the that F-16 or F-18 is going to bomb your house "now." Whereas, there is an app for rockets fired from Gaza are headed your way. There are no bomb shelters in Gaza,as there are in Israel.
Hamas has no capability at all to harm the numbers of Israelis, that their adversary is harming in Gaza. Nowhere even close. Their rockets and missiles are homemade, unguided, and too small to cause much damage beyond frayed nerves and minor property damage. The fact of the matter is no matter how careful Israel says it is being in its pounding of Gaza, overwhelmingly it is civilians which are paying a steep price. I can't help but feel they are being disingenuous when they claim they go to great lengths to spare civilians, I almost get the feeling of the "oh well" type of attitude. We tried, we warned, but we blew the head off of a four year old kid. It is their fault not ours."
Not that Hamas is without blame, they share in this catastrophe as much as the Israelis. It is futile to hurl these rockets at Israel. That is only justifying the heavy handedness of the response. I likened it the other day to throwing rocks at Godzilla. It is accomplishing nothing in a military sense. At best you are inconveniencing the daily routine of Israelis. In return, 800 Palestinians have been wounded, and as already stated, more than 100 killed. If these attacks continue Israel will invade Gaza again and yet more civilians will be killed and wounded.
What can be done? Well a few things by both sides immediately. The shooter, or shooter of the two Palestinians teens shot to death by snipers in the West Bank on May 15th should be arrested and charged, the same with the murderers of the 17 year Palestinian burned to death in Jerusalem. And the arrest of the officers that beat his cousin. In return, the suspects in the murder of the three Israeli youths must also be apprehended, and charged. In all of these cases there must be a trial, and the full extent of the law must be wielded against the perpetrators. Also in exchange, both sides immediately stop hostilities.
Gaza has legitimate demands in calling for more imports and exports into the territory, a lifting of restrictions on what can be imported and exported. Simple things such as allowing fisherman from Gaza access to their own offshore resources. It is too much to ask to make Gaza more of a country and less of a prison? Is it? I don't think so.