MH17 is front page around the world. A group of innocent people killed by someone who had little regard for their lives. People who may have mistaken them for “the enemy” but even so, didn’t have the right to slaughter almost 300 people. Individuals and countries are outraged and condemn the pro-Russian separatists and Russia as being responsible for the rocket attack. There is talk of a trade embargo and protests are happening around the world.
Now imagine if three aircraft had been shot down. 900 people slaughtered. Not only that, but the rebels had their rockets trained on another aircraft. Another 300 to join the “inventory of the dead” in the next day or so. Men, women and children to have their lives terminated for crossing a land the rebels feel is theirs.
Now think Gaza.
The Israeli army has killed over 900 men, women and children in the last few weeks. The killing has not stopped, nor does it look like stopping. Three MH17s. In retaliation, the Palestinians have killed about 30 Israelis. I thought the old testament was an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. The Israeli new testament appears to be a family for an eye; a classroom for a tooth.
The justification by Israel seems to be that it is in retaliation for rocket attacks by Hamas. So is the justification of Hamas that their attacks are in retaliation for rocket attacks by Israel? Who started the whole thing? It seems like a tribal war that goes back hundreds of years to someone from one tribe insulting someone from another tribe. Can Israel realistically claim it is retaliation when they are out-killing the opposition 30:1.
Is Hamas innocent? There seem to be areas where they have done some questionable things. Hiding rockets in schools is an obvious one. Hopefully they will be held to account for these alleged war crimes and so should Israel if some of the allegations against them are true. But you have to look at history to see why the conflict exists.
During World War I, the British and French had a secret treaty. The Sykes–Picot Agreement which in 1915/1916 divided the Middle East into areas controlled by France and Britain. It also foreshadowed the establishment of a Zionist state.
The reason it was secret was that Lord Kitchener (Secretary of War) and Colonel T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) were trying to unite the Arab nations to fight the Turks. They were telling the Arabs, if they supported the allies, they were building their own independent Arab nation.
Behind the scenes the British government was taking another path. The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
See why the Palestinians are pissed off? They fought in WWI to form their own nation only to have the people who promised them a nation, take it away. Now Israel wants to take Gaza from the Palestinians. For most of the time the elimination of Palestine is more subtle than rockets. Stop any imports through a blockade; don’t allow any Arabs to build by restricting permits and materials; encourage Israelis to set up communities in Gaza so they can eventually say they need to be protected; restrict education of Palestinian children; oppose recognition of the State of Palestine. Is it not feasible that a resistance movement will emerge? Are these people terrorists or freedom fighters?
If the goal is to stop people killing one another, the international community needs to address the core problem. Why can’t Israel get out of Gaza and let the country exist as a Palestinian state? Take away the reason for Gaza to attack Israel. Bring in UN peacekeepers to monitor the process. The alternative is that Israeli progressively kill all the population of Gaza, or enough so there is no resistance left.
Right now, Gaza = three times MH17. How many MH17s does it take.