So here's what I understand about all this.
- Hamas shoots rockets into Israel, resulting in civilian casualties.
- Israel shoots rockets back at Hamas' rocket launchers.
- Hamas has placed its rocket launchers in civilian areas.
- Attacks by Israel on those rocket launchers pretty much means there will be civilian casualties.
- Israel is condemned for causing civilian casualties.
- Hamas shoots more rockets into Israel causing more civilian casualties.
And the wheel keeps turning.
I'm not here to weigh in on the issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Personally I think Israel has a right to exist BUT the Palestinians have gotten royally screwed in the meantime. The problem has been those who reportedly are in positions of leadership allegedly on behalf of the Palestinians.
In the 1990's, the Israelis and the Palestinians were about as close as they ever got to a solid, lasting peace deal. Then it all fell apart when PLO leader Yassar Arafat walked away. Why? Because Arafat would rather have power over his people in hell than to be a mere servant of his people in peaceful co-existence with Israel. It was all about Arafat preserving his power. In the end, Arafat was the terrorist he had always been and terrorists have no power when the battle is won.
The terrorists group Hamas ia in that position of power that stems from standing up to Israel and feeding the flames of hatred and rage. A continued state of war serves Hamas' own selfish aims for power and conquest.
Yet even as Hamas lobs rockets through the air and send terrorist fights scurrying through tunnels underground to stage sneak attacks within Israel, Israel itself gets pounded in the court of world opinion. After all, Israel has the advantage of better weapons, better trained and equipped troops and the backing of US aid and influence. Any efforts at retaliation gets cast in the light of aggression, not self defence.
This is not to say Israel hasn't been complicit in its own douchebaggery as it were. Every time they build more settlements in territories the Palestinians see as in dispute, Israel looks less like a victim of terrorists and more like a neighborhood bully. Sending troops into Gaza doesn't help with that image at all. It doesn't help that Israel's leadership seems more determined to make shows of strength that any overtures of compromise.
Perhaps its unfair that Israel should have to worry about an image. Terrorists are taking aggressive action against Israeli civilians and Israel has ever right to protect its citizens and defend itself. Much of the problem of civilian casualties among the Palestinians is beyond their control. As one Israeli military leader put it, "It doesn't help that Hamas puts rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods. It also doesn't help when Hamas insists on firing those rockets at us."
But its also unfair that the Palestinians have suffered for so long for things that are beyond their control. Leaders who seek to gain and build power on a continued state of war and terror have only their self-interests in mind and do nothing for the people they reportedly fight on behalf of.
As I said at the beginning and I'll reiterate here at the end, I'm not the most politically astute mind when it comes to understanding this subject. But I can't help but think of the admonishment of Jesus Christ that he who is without sin cast the first stone. We are way past the point of some many stones cast on boths sides of this mess.
The question now is, "What about the last stone?" Will someone holding a stone of hatred and fear and rage realize that the throwing of that stone will only lead to more stones, to more death, more chaos? Who will realize that the stone in their hand must be the last stone?
Everybody, please: be good to one another.