Posted by: Staff | 02.11.2009

The Gaza Conflict

CONNOR MADIGAN ’11

The United States has always supported Israel, and it is our government’s plan to have at least one friend in the Middle East. This strategy has worked thus far, and we have established exactly one ally in that part of the world. Israel recently began bombing and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, a tiny piece of land on the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas began shooting rockets into Israel after a ceasefire was broken when Israeli soldiers shot several Palestinians. Such violence is not new in that part of the world. Hamas wanted to get back the land the land it lost in the 1967 war with Israel. This political party is responsible for a number of suicide bombings and the death of many civilians. Despite that, Hamas is a democratically elected government.

Religion may not be one of the main issues in this conflict, but it certainly can’t help. Israel has been in disarray with its neighbors ever since the country was created in 1948 after the UN awarded the land. However UN is a lot like God: its authority is questionable. Since then, the Israeli borders have pushed the Palestinian people to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It is therefore easy to kill civilians. The civilian casualties are, in fact staggering. Israel’s defense is that Hamas is hiding among the non-combatants. That although their weapons are killing innocent people it is the fault of Hamas that they are actually dying.

It seems to me that Hamas, and every group which uses violence as a means to reach a goal, believes that the death of civilians will somehow not provoke the powers that be. This provocation will, more often then not, result in retaliation. This retaliation will probably draw more support to organizations like Hamas when they see big, bad Israel tuning up on the Gaza Strip. This circle of violence seems counter-productive to everyone involved, and everyone who witnesses it must ask, “when will it stop?”

Now, Terrorists, I am talking to you. It has been a long road to this conflict and it cannot have been easy for you to want to do this. That being said, can you give me a single example of rockets and bombings ever really bringing down a country? You have sacrificed the youth of your people for futile ideals and dreams. If you merely took the time to speak to those you perceive to oppress you, some forward motion could be made.

This is a message for all the big governments who are being attacked by little groups. I’ll be honest, it has been said before, so I am going to write in really big for any leader who might be reading The Beaver Reader: YOU AREN’T HELPING! Lets look at the U.S.: we were hit badly on 9/11 by a group based in Afghanistan and then we proceeded to invade Iraq. Israel currently allowed aid though to the Gaza Strip for three hours and then began bombing again. You would have better luck trying to cure syphilis over the phone than helping in these situations. Whether you, the reader, side with the Palestinians or Israelis, we can all agree that those not involved in the conflict between governments should not be getting hurt.

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