Today has been a dark day in both Palestine and Israel.
In Gaza, Hamas has shown the contempt in which it holds the long-suffering residents of that small strip of land. It is willing, more than willing, to shed the blood of the women & children of Gaza in trying to peruse its long term aims. By recommencing, or at best allowing others to do so, the firing of rockets into Israel in pursuit of photo opportunities of Gazans killed and maimed by the retaliatory bombardment from Israel (and it is clear that there is no other reason for the rockets from Gaza) Hamas has proved once again that it is not a defender of Palestinians but rather an enemy of allowing peaceful co-existence. Hams wants to destroy any possibility of Israel lifting the blockade and allowing the people of Gaza to benefit from trade with the outside world.
However, the reaction by the Israeli Government to a few dozen pinpricks from Hamas has, as it has been for the last 2 months since the original kidnapping & murder of the 3 Israeli teenagers, been out of all proportion to the threat Hamas poses. I had hoped that for once wiser and more mature counsel would be listened to and Israel wouldn’t return to the behaviour of the school yard. If the last few weeks have shown anything it is that even overwhelming force will not stop the rockets and only ends with a stronger Hamas, many dead civilians and further worsening of Israel’s standing in the world. But no, the failed attitudes of the last 10+ years have repeated themselves and once again, Israel has given Hamas exactly what Hamas and it supporters wanted, more deaths on the streets of Gaze, more pictures of children killed or wounded.
At times, the actions of Khaled Mashaal, Binyamin Netanyahu, Mohammed Deif, Naftali Bennett and the other leaders of Hamas & the Israel Government seem to be working together to perpetuate the fighting and not to try to stop it. On both sides, the leaders are gaining support from their own political constituency for standing up to the enemy. Those more cynical than me might even think that they are actually co-ordinating their actions. Neither side seem to be worried about the cost in lives that the fighting takes as long as they keep their hold on power. Neither side seems to be concerned with actually finding a real solution that will allow the people of Gaza to rebuild, no build for the first time, a life for their family that has a future where the rockets, missiles, bombs & destruction has no part.
As I said at the beginning, this day, Friday 8th August, has been a dark day. What has given me hope is the work of those on both sides to bring the people of Palestine & Israel together in peace, the thousands of Israelis that have contributed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, the thoughtful considered articles on the web that show not all Palestinians & Israelis are consumed hatred of the other side (Taking the peace process into our own hands, SAVIR’S CORNER: The aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, Against the war: the movement that dare not speak its name in Israel and Israel’s fake victory are a few examples). Do not let the darkness of today extinguish the light that these people bring.