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Politics & Power

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Israeli Forces Continue to Slaughter Innocents in Gaza

For some the recent events in Gaza have been seen as a justified response by Israel to the rocket attacks by Hamas on southern Israel. This might be so if the attacks were only killing Hamas militants or if the strikes were surgical in nature and resulting in little or no civilian casualties. The truth of the matter is that the attacks are killing as many if not more civilians as they are killing militants. Bombs are being dropped in the middle of neighborhoods with no regard for the loss of civilian lives.

Israel has openly spoken of using a “pressure cooker” strategy in the conflict which surrounds the enemy on all sides and then closes in to wipe them out. The problem with this strategy is that along with any militants in the area being surrounded and closed in on are women, children, infirmed, elderly and other innocents who have never done anything to harm Israel or any of her citizens. Much like the ghettos in Germany and Poland during World War Two, Gaza residents are being herded up with no chance for escape and subjected to unspeakable conditions that threaten their lives and leave them in a constant state of fear.

Terrorism as it is defined by Webster’s Dictionary is: “The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation.” By that definition the acts of Israel against the people of Gaza is in fact textbook terrorism. They are using the fear of death and dismemberment to try to force the people of Gaza to turn in their relatives and neighbors to Israeli officials so they can be stopped from firing rockets into Israel. There has been little clarity about what Israeli forces would do with any captured Hamas members. One would hope that they might be tried in some court of law somewhere for their crimes against the Israeli people. We just don’t know if Hamas militants would face a trial or summary execution if turned over to Israeli forces. Israel has also said that one necessary condition for a cease fire is an immediate halt to weapons smuggling into Gaza. Unclear is how they would enforce a weapons smuggling ban in the Gaza territories without a permanent occupying presence in the area. Despite the claims of the Israeli government that they support some form of independence for the Palestinian people in Gaza they are calling for a condition that would likely require their continuous presence in the region.

All that is certain at this point is that Israeli forces are killing and injuring Palestinian civilians including women and children by the hundreds and have given no clear picture of what their actual military objective is. The operation begins to take on the look of some “final solution” to deal with the “Palestinian threat”. Word is coming out of the region of the use of phosphorus munitions in civilian areas which has been universally recognized as being counter to the conduct of legitimate warfare. The ratio of dead Palestinians to dead Israelis is climbing daily with nearly one thousand dead Palestinians including nearly five hundred civilians to thirteen dead Israelis including three civilians. The scale of Palestinian civilian death and the methods of terror being utilized by Israeli forces are unconscionable.

For students of history this type of action is reminiscent of another war in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. When Jews were being rounded up and slaughtered by superior German forces the world did not act. The leaders of the day let the atrocities occur and only after the war did they try to hold those committed the unspeakable acts accountable for their actions. If the world had acted sooner there would not have been six million dead Jews at the hands of the Germans. The world needs to learn from our mistakes of the past. We need to act now and stop the killing in Israel before the scale of innocent death grows any further. Hamas should be stopped but the costs of Israel’s methods are too high. Too many children and innocents are dying for Israel’s quest to wipe out Hamas.

Israel is not without blame in this current conflict and cannot be held blameless for their actions. If war crimes have been committed by Israeli troops in their actions, they need to be tried and sentenced in an international court. Likewise if the members of Hamas have committed crimes against Israel, they need to be tried and convicted in a court of law. If there is to be any moral superiority of any side in a conflict they must be held to the highest standards of conduct. Killing civilians without regard simply to kill an enemy of undetermined strength and size is an unacceptable method of warfare.

Israel clearly does not have reliable information on locations and strengths of Hamas militants and are shooting wildly in the hopes of killing as many as possible. There is a good chance that even some of the people firing back at them are not Hamas but merely Gazans fighting for the safety of their families during an invasion by hostile forces. I can say without reservation that if some army invaded my country, I would grab any gun I could find to kill as many of them as possible to protect my family. I’m not a soldier but I love my family and would die to protect them from invaders. How many people from Gaza are trying to simply protect their families by fighting back against the invaders from Israel? How many of the “militants” killed actually belonged to Hamas before Israel invaded? There are just too many unanswered questions in this conflict to allow it to continue.

The UN and NATO need to commit peacekeeping troops now to keeping the peace in Gaza and the world community needs to order Israel to stand down or face the forces of a unified opposition to their campaign including the US military. We cannot condone even our allies slaughtering innocents with no escape. We must put an immediate stop to all military and economic aid to Israel unless they stand down and stop firing on civilian areas. Further we need to halt all commerce between the United States and Israel until they commit to an immediate cease fire and face to face talks with all duly elected officials from the Palestinian authority including those Hamas officials elected by the people in a legal election.

If America and our allies are to support democracy, we need to recognize all duly elected leaders even if we don’t like what their ideology may be. We must act in a manner that gives us the moral superiority to justify our leadership on the world stage. That includes keeping our allies from committing atrocities with the weapons we provide to them. If we are to supply Israel’s military with the weapons they use and share our intelligence resources with them at our expense, we need to be able to exercise a level of control over how they use them. The current conflict supplied by our tax dollars has gone on too long. It is time we put a stop to it or stop spending our tax dollars supporting it.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

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