Chaos in the Middle East

31 Jul

There is a lot going on in the world, most of which is occurring in and around the Middle East.  A plane was shot down in Ukraine and tensions have once again flared up in Israel and in Gaza.  This post will be about what is currently taking place in the Gaza strip and Israel.  I’m not going to give a detailed history on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because then this would be a never ending blog post.  I expect that this issue will bring out a lot of debate, and I have been disappointed with the content of the debate that I have seen online.  For me, this issue is a complicated one especially for me.  It should be treated as a complicated issue, but like many things it isn’t treated as such.

I have mixed feelings on this conflict.  I often find myself in the middle of this debate since I have friends on both sides of the issues.  Partly because I was raised Jewish, I strongly support Israel’s right to exist.  That doesn’t mean I support everything that Israel has done or will do.  Israel has to recognize that they have killed civilians in this conflict, whether it is unintentional or not.  Hamas can and should be blamed for some of the civilian’s deaths, but certainly not all of them.

It is important to recognize how this recent conflict began.  Three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered.  A Palestinian teen was killed in retaliation for the kidnappings.  A column in USA today points out the reactions to both of the horrendous crimes – “Reaction to teen murders matters too.”  Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the kidnapping and killings of the Israeli teens, despite the objections from some Palestinians.  On their facebook page, the Palestinian authority portrayed the Israeli teens as rats.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the killings on both sides.

After the kidnappings, violence erupted on both sides.  Rockets have been firing on Israel on a daily basis and Israel has countered with airstrikes and an invasion of Gaza.  Hamas is the main agitator in this conflict but that doesn’t mean Israel has been spotless on how they have handled the conflict.  If Hamas didn’t exist, there would be peace.  They don’t care if civilians are killed on either side.  (i.e. using people as human shields)

To people who strongly support Israel, the Palestinians are not your enemies, Hamas are.  To people who support the Palestinians, be mad at Israeli government officials who haven’t been careful enough avoiding civilian casualties; be mad at Hamas for making civilians a target, but don’t be mad at the people of Israel.  People on both sides must realize this is a complicated conflict and it should be analyzed as such.  Of everyone I know on both sides, no one has been praising civilian loss on either side, but we should acknowledge that this is a war where civilians are caught in the middle of a conflict.

Most of the Israelis and most of the Palestinians want peace.  This notion has often been shouted down during the current debate.  I am tired of seeing stupid and hateful posts online from extremists.  On one side I saw someone blame all Palestinians for the actions of a few.  On the other side I saw someone comment, “Hitler didn’t go far enough.”  Such hatred is destructive and counterproductive to what everyone should hope to achieve, peace in the Middle East.  Most people will support one side over the other, but we should strive for peace above either side.




“Reaction to teen murders matters too…”


One Response to “Chaos in the Middle East”

  1. Daniel Berman August 1, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Great article. Couldn’t agree with you more.

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