Why it is critical to look to Israel to act with ‘precision’

A Merkava tank. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons)
A Merkava tank. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons)

The conflict between Israel, Palestine and what is considered divine land is one that goes back to the dawn of civilization. It’s not a conflict that will likely be solved in our lifetime or anytime soon after.

Hamas, the political representation of the Palestinian people, hardly even does that. It puts its citizen’s lives in danger by using violence aimed at killing Israeli civilians, which in turn provokes retaliation from Israel.

Under this doctrine, Hamas is doing more harm to its people than it is helping them, even if you believe that scores of innocent civilian deaths displayed in the media is a successful way of swaying public opinion in favor of Palestinians.

So I think many rational people can all agree that Hamas has a terrorist wing within it who uses extreme means to get their way, even if it costs the lives of Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas has no legitimacy when it comes to being taken seriously in the international community because of its doctrine of violence and hope of annihilating the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what are we going to do about the United States’ ally in Israel?

See, Israel is a democracy and they have a strong standing in the developed international community. Israel has the backing of the world’s greatest army in the United States. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal and they are a strong economy, financed largely with the help of medical and military technology.

On the other hand, Palestine is one of the most densely populated areas in the world while it’s economy suffers due to embargoes and restrictions placed on the country. The country is even cut off from the Mediterranean Sea, which is restricted area. Remember the four children playing who were killed by Israeli forces while playing on the beach?

With air, ground and water restrictions in place, Palestine has basically been limited to the Gaza Strip with much of the supplies being brought into the country through tunnels, which are a focus of Israel’s attacks.

Recently, the strip lost its only power plant after Israeli shelling on Tuesday, July 29, making the situation more dire for civilians. In addition to lacking power, the price of water has tripled in the area since those attacks.

Many people will call this a war, but we have to be careful in what we label this crisis.

It’s an all-out assault on the Palestinians by the Israelis due to Hamas’ provocation.

But to be clear, this is not a war. On one side you have little cohesion between militant and political groups while on the other side, you have an army backed by the world’s more powerful countries in the United States, Canada, France and England.

The trump card that puts Israel in a whole different playing field is its Iron Dome, which is financed largely by the United States and has intercepted over 3,500 rockets from Hamas.

Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed including members of Hamas. It’s also important to note that the majority, nearly three quarters, of Palestinians deaths have been civilian with with about half of those deaths being women and children. In Israel, 67 have died. Sixty-four of those deaths were soldiers, while three were civilian.

STORY: New fight in tallying dead in Gaza conflict

I lay this context to say this, if Israel is our ally and is granted legitimacy in the international community, why does the country keep defining its actions by those of the terrorist organization Hamas? Shouldn’t Israel be better than Hamas? Shouldn’t Israel be intelligent enough to not let terrorist trick them into killing civilians?

Often times, Israeli officials will say the reason why Palestinian civilians are killed is because Hamas is using them as “body shields.” Whether or not that is true is up for debate, especially when one realizes that the Gaza Strip is one of the densest places on earth. In that case, some of the civilian deaths can be attributed to that while it can also be noted that Hamas does fire rockets from residential areas. Regardless, Israel is still choosing to bomb civilian areas including schools and UN refugee sites earning condemnation from the United States, France and other countries. There are also protests on behalf of the Palestinian in the United States as well as in Britain.

When you bomb UN refugee sites where the international community has come to help, you’ve gone beyond defending yourself, which Israel has every right to do. Now, what you’re doing is going on the attack and maybe even trying to intimidate a population into submission.

STORY: UN says Israel violated international law after shells hit school in Gaza

If you’re Israel and a country that is to be held to such high esteem, you’ve got to be able to show restraint in situations like this. Critics of Israel, like myself, say this because we want Israel to be prosperous, but at the same time, don’t want to see the lives of children and women be taken as just the cost of “war,” which again, this is anything but.

Just because rockets and weapons are being used, does not make a conflict a legitimate war.

Israel is a great and powerful democracy, and with that comes the responsibility to act reasonably and with precision.

We still don’t know what Netanyahu’s goal is? Is it to wipe out tunnels? If that was the case, neighborhoods wouldn’t be flattened. Recently he said he will keep fighting until there is “quiet.” What that entails, only Netanyahu and those within his administration will know.

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