The Terrorist Assault on the People of Gaza

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Terrorism is the deliberate violent targeting
of civilians for political and/or military
ends. Those who use terrorism
always try to make it seem legitimate.
Hamas sends rockets into southern
Israel because Israel has taken former
Arab land and homes and Israel has
been economically blockading Gaza by land and by sea.
Israel attacks civilian sites such as hospitals, ambulances,
schools, and universities because it claims that Hamas
uses them for military purposes. All of the claims on both
sides might be true, but none justifies terrorism.
There are, however, five aspects to the recent Israeli
campaign in Gaza that make the terrorism there especially
troubling. First is the scale of the harm. Something like
half of the approximately 1300 killed were civilians, many
of them children. Many more were wounded. Second is
the type of weaponry used, especially white phosphorous
which is one of the cruelest of weapons that burns to the
bone and is internationally forbidden in crowded urban
areas like Gaza. (See the 1925 Geneva Protocol in the sidebar).
Third is Israel’s banning of the press from Gaza in the
vain hope that much of the suffering it inflicted would go
unreported. Forth, is Israel’s striking of the facilities of the
U.N. and other international relief organizations. Fifth, all
of this was done by a military supplied by the U.S. government
and paid for by us U.S. taxpayers. The blood is
thus on our hands too.
I regret that several of my fellow American Jews have
attempted to justify the unjustifiable in letters to the
News-Gazette. Of all people, we should be the first to
decry the infliction of such suffering and insist that we
never pay for it again.

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