In a tough exchange of wars following Hamas’ apparent disregard for a 72-hour ceasefire, Benjamin Netanyahu came out strong and warned America the following, “Never second guess me again on Hamas!”
While Israel and Palestine both have an inherent sovereign right of defense, by international law, once a nation asks America for $225 million to rebuild their missile defense system, perhaps that nation should have some say in the conflict.
John Kerry, who was part of brokering the 72-hour ceasefire, cannot say for sure which side of the conflict violated the agreement. Netanyahu, before the ceasefire was even brokered, warned that it did not mean an end to the conflict. In all actuality, Netanyahu made it clear that the world should expect a prolonged conflict should whichever terrorists firing rockets, being umbrella’d under the moniker “Hamas”, still live.
The problem is that those firing rockets are allegedly setting up bases in neighborhoods full of innocent people. There are countless innocent Palestinians coming up dead and to catch a few weasels, Israel is bombarding targets in neighborhoods full of civilians.
The problem with this is simple: imagine you are sitting where you are right now, comfortable and loving life. You have no malice to your heart toward any of your neighboring states/countries. All of a sudden, a squadron of their advanced jets roar overhead, dropping pamphlets that warn you to ‘get out of your home because we are getting ready to bomb the @#$# out of your neighborhood.”
So basically, a neighboring country that you are supposed to not dislike is warning you that your life is getting ready to go to hell, because there are some people you don’t actually agree with wanting to fight. Add this to media circulating of obvious non-combatants from your country, namely children, being mutilated by bombs and gunfire, all while videos of Israelis cheering even the death of these children and some calling for the death of all Palestinians make their rounds.
You may just start to support the radical group called Hamas, or at least, one of the 2340982390823 splinter cells being labeled as Hamas.
Benjamin Netanyahu has every right to be upset as well. Many good and innocent people of Israel have had their lives ruined by horrible acts. An officer was kidnapped from Israel and is likely dead. If terrorists were sneaking into my city via tunnels and possible unleashing bombs everywhere, I sure as hell would be up in arms and trying to shut those tunnels down as quickly as possible.
But there is something here that cannot be overlooked. Since the late 1940s, a major tension in this region has been brewing. My fear is that the way Israel is going about handling the situation, with an escalated war and labeling any act as “Hamas who is all hiding in Palestine” is actually giving birth to a growing number of those who harbor ill-sentiment toward Israel. And in this region, that is dangerous.
How does this concern America? Israel is a strong ally of America and the history of the two nations are increasingly intertwined. Many amazing and wonderful Americans have ancestry in Israel. Many have family there. But America is a melting pot. There are many Palestinians who also call America home. And though America has its faults, it is a nation that has unity born through a history over overcoming racial/ethnic differences through years of riots, protests, tears, bombs, strife and struggle, it is a nation such as America that may have a decent word to say in the conflict.
Yes, a ceasefire is a good thing. For too long I’ve been under a simple opinion that Netanyahu does not have respect for America and almost feels that any loan or aide given by the American people is something he is owed. This is not the case. America can easily close off the coffers for good. There are people in this nation who would happily advocate and support such a measure. I am not one of them, because I would really dislike seeing an Israel left without sophisticated weapons and means of defense. As mentioned, there is great resentment in the Middle East.
But should Netanyahu insist on demanding Washington never second guess his dictates again, then let him know that this is fine. America can just pull out and use every cent of aide to develop our energy program. And if Iran should ever fire a bomb upon America, keep in mind Iraq’s army was decimated by US-led forces in two weeks. Conquest is easy for America, control is not.
And for Israel, seated in a region that can be volatile at any moment, that is the line I would love for Bibi to hold dear and remember. Not even America, with all our weapons, could keep Iraq under control and free from acts of senseless destruction. Even as we speak, ISIS spreads and green zones are necessary.
In a world where compassion exists, a strong people cannot be controlled. You can bomb their buildings, you can level their tunnels, you can obliterate their means of raising a conventional army. But unless we are willing to live in a world where dictators advocating the death and destruction of are allowed to carry out their plans, which we thankfully are not, then people who are disenfranchised and trampled upon shall live.
And it is those people whose hearts we must win, after so much strife borne into their history. The people of Palestine are not going away. And if we want to label them all under “Hamas” right now, so be it. But for every act of destruction reigned upon them, we are losing their hearts. And the conflict will continue to grow and escalate, while the rest of the world watches and casts judgement.
All of the words above are to convey a simple thought: as an American with ethnic history borne of this region, I say a ceasefire and peace should always be the primary goal.
If an opportunity for peace presents itself, seize it. Do not be so broad when labeling those who are committing dastardly acts. Hamas, already trouble enough in itself, has already broken down into unrecognizable groups. Who is the central authority? Dropping leaflets warning non-combatant citizens to run for their lives and run into the wilderness, no place to go as Israel bombs their homes because “Hamas” might be there, is not going to win hearts and minds. It is not going to bring peace. It is only going to encourage the thought that a full-out war is the only recourse.
And to that end, America and every other nation has an eternal obligation to prevent that from happening in this very important land.