Before I start let me declare that the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that killed 1,200 to 1,400 people and led to the capture of over 200 hostages should in no way be condoned, regardless of the plight of the Palestinian people. I first wrote about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in May of 2021. You can read it here: Is our fear of being accused of antisemitism enabling more violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
The right-wing Israeli government wasted no time in saying they were going to eradicate Hamas. I understand the concept of wanting to remove this threat to their country. Even with my limited knowledge of world politics, counter-terrorism, and the geo-political realities of this conflict, I knew right away that their chances of eradicating Hamas, or similar type terrorists, will not happen by force. Sure, they may kill a large majority of its leaders and its members, but if the underlying conditions that created Hamas are not addressed, these terrorists will regroup and perhaps even become more empowered by whatever the tragic outcome will be from Israel’s retribution. As of this moment the final outcome does look tragic.
According to Euro-Med Monitor Israel’s retribution for the Hamas attack has likely risen the death toll to 20,000 Palestinians and other foreign nationals, including those missing under the rubble, as the war enters it’s seventh week. More than 30,000 have been injured. A large majority of the deaths and injuries are children and innocent civilians.
When Israel started its counter attack on Gaza the international western community rose immediately to support Israel’s response, even though some of them like President Biden did say the response should be tempered and me protective of civilian lives and in line with international law. His warnings and others didn’t seem to matter. The bombing of Gaza escalated quickly. Israel claimed to drop 6,000 bombs on Gaza in the first six days of their attack. More than the US dropped in 2019 on Afghanistan.
On day 25 of the war, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant stated that more than 10,000 bombs and missiles had been dropped on Gaza City alone.
“Over 1,650 million Gazans have been internally displaced, about half of whom are living in severely overcrowded UNRWA-run facilities that are neither intended nor suitable for shelter” Euro-Med Monitor.
US peace advocate Shane Claiborne wrote on November 19,
“Every decent human being should be able to say:
Bombing hospitals is wrong
Bombing schools is wrong
Bombing churches is wrong
Bombing refugee camps is wrong
Bombing shelters is wrong
Killing children is wrong
Killing journalists is wrong
Killing doctors is wrong
Shooting unarmed civilians is wrong
Running over bodies in tanks is wrong
Cutting off water is wrong
Cutting off electricity to premature babies on incubators is wrong
Burning down someone’s home is wrong
Prohibiting medical supplies is wrong
Refusing humanitarian aid is wrong
Starving people to death is wrong
All of these things have been done by the State of Israel, with the help of the United States, over the past month.”
At which point will we who live here in the safe confines of our homes rise up and make our voices heard?
At which point will our political leaders shift from their unrestricted support for Israel’s attack on Gaza and demand for a ceasefire and a two-state solution?
Do we need to reach 30,000 dead? Do 20,000 children have to die?
If you’re Canadian, like I am, I urge you to write your member of Parliament and our Prime Minister to demand a ceasefire and a two-state solution.
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images