I’m going to talk about the current events in the Gaza Strip, and more specifically, the outlandish reactions to it.
What is happening over there is wrong. I’m not going to go into the detailed past of the area, mostly because I’m lazy, but more importantly, the past can’t be changed, only the future can.
According to the United nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (aka: OCHA), they estimate that 1176 of the 1717 of those killed have been identified as civilians, which include women or children. 485,000 Palestinians have been displaced. 269,793 have taken shelter in 90 schools that haven’t been destroyed. 1.5 million people in Gaza have limited or no access to water supplies. 26 health facilities have been damaged, 945 homes (housing 10,690 families) have been totally destroyed or severely damaged. Throughout the Gaza Strip, people receive only three hours of electricity per day. With the destruction of Gaza’s only power plant had, the public health situation are dire and growing worse. There’s reduced water and sanitation services, hospitals are even more dependent on generators to treat the casualties. There are more than 485,000 people in need of emergency food assistance.
So how are things in Israel? Thanks to the “Iron Dome”, 3 civilians and 64 Israeli soldiers have died since this recent spat of fighting began. Also, medical health professionals have noted that Israeli teens prone to mental health problems are noted to suffer increasingly during both short-term and long-term conflicts. Experts have identified a number of mental health symptoms which rise during conflict especially anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, phobias, and paranoia. All summer camps were closed and universities canceled their final exams.
Whoa, sounds like the Israeli people reeeeally have it hard.
Does that make what Hamas is doing right? No. Lobbing bombs or rockets at anyone only creates more violence and destruction. It caused more troubles than it solves, especially when dealing with a power like the Israeli army, brought to you by the generous support of the American Government.
Is Israel’s reaction justified? Yes, to a point. If these were two equally matched groups of people attacking each other, then the fight will be “fair” (well, as fair as war can be). Both sides would suffer equally. But this isn’t the case here. The Israeli military has greater weapons, and actual bomb shelters to protect their citizens. The majority of the people living in the Gaza Strip don’t. Many live in third-world conditions. It would be like a guy with a sub-machine gun attacking a guy with a good arm and some good-sized rocks.
If the people and government of Israel wanted to show they are better than their foes, they should have limited their retaliation. They should have been smarter, more decisive. Fighting back against a force that has less-than-adequate defenses and weapons best utilized in the 70’s or 80’s only strengthens the resolve. The under-dog will always fight back harder if the odds are against them.
You noticed how I haven’t talked about the religious differences yet?
That’s because it is the religious differences that will make this battle, and all others to come, a never-ending stream of death and destruction. Only when one is wiped off the face of the earth will their fighting stop. When two opposing forces use their religion as a way to justify their actions, especially in war or conflict, there is no logic or reason to be found. That is why the separation of politics and religion is so vital. People in politics can decide things according to their beliefs, but so long as the beliefs don’t dictate the fate of a nation and its people, then there’s a chance of acceptance, understanding, and one, maybe even peace.
As of right now, that is a looong way off.
The other thing I wanted to talk about was people like Jon Voight and others who have called those that speak out against the actions of the Israeli government as “Anti-Semitic”.
Jon Voight reminds me of the old fart in the small town who gets pissed when kids play on his front lawn. But, being a free country, where freedom of speech is valued, he has every right to say what he said about Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and the other Spanish entertainment people who signed a letter condemning the actions in Gaza.
But calling them Anti-Semitic? Seriously? That is just bullshit.
Anyone who is against the actions of the Israeli government are NOT against Jews. Yes, I’m sure there are some assholes who would use these events to attack Jews and the existence of the Israeli nation, but to disagree with a nation’s policy does NOT automatically make you anti-whatever-the-prominent-religion-is.
Well, Mr. Voight, if we use your logic, then all those right-wing nut jobs who stop the American government from completing their appointed tasks must be against the predominant religion of America, which would be Christianity. Actually, that sort of makes sense, because denying people adequate healthcare and decent, fair wages that would allow people to be free of government hand-outs sounds pretty Anti-Christian to me. So Jonny, when are you gonna go after the Republicans for their Anti-Christian actions?
Regardless of what side you come down on, the events in the Gaza Strip, and anywhere else where people are being killed, these conflicts solve nothing. The only time violence and destruction solved something was when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. That was pretty horrible too.
There needs to be a new way to solve our conflicts where hundreds or thousands of people aren’t killed. Until we discover this truth, so many more will die.