A friend responded to a video of a weeping man being pried away from his young daughter who was dead on a burned out hospital floor. She was killed by Israeli missile attacks in Gaza, July 2014. This next paragraph was the response from my friend who saw the video.
“Those people only know war they have been in it ALL THEIR LIVES I can not feel sorry for people who choose to continue in the same direction these countries do. The US needs to back off and allow these people to figure it out.”
My friend, you were moved by the video. Thank you. So, let’s move in the right direction.
I feel sorry for these people because their choices and directions are being made for them. Freedom is not just an American invented right – it is a God given right of all people. And the freedom I choose to live in, is the freedom that is for ALL. And when I see so much senseless death among children, elderly and entire family’s (anyone) being wiped out, I cannot help but feel compassion and a desire to investigate just a bit further; so I can help alleviate the pain and prevent our children having to deal with it.
I’d almost say that your suggestion to “back off” comes about a century too late. But I won’t. Because we cannot isolate ourselves or those in need….ever. Western involvement (U.S., Great Britain, Israel and others) has DIRECTLY led to the current conditions in much of the modern Middle East and certainly in Gaza. We cannot “back off” from a mess we started and exacerbated. I DO agree with backing off military aid and with publically condemning the use oppressive of force and lopsided policy. I do NOT agree with backing off with collaborative approaches to peaceful resolutions.
In case you cannot get to the end of this response, I’ll say it now: A world of peace cannot be achieved by nations who walk away from one another. The ripple effects of human rights violations and war spread far and wide and become the breeding grounds for nothing but resentment and evil… and evil knows no borders. Have you not seen this yourself? We should discontinue arming these regions with weapons and seek to lift oppressive sanctions. We have a duty to mankind. We’ve a responsibility to act as a nation of human beings, not a mob of human nationalist; a responsibility to relieve suffering with diplomacy, basic human needs, and compassion. Not a blithe remark to “go figure it out yourselves” which is not much different then being complicit with violence.
We have ALL known war…from the Revolutionary War to the American Civil Rights movement to the current military activities throughout the world with which we engage (which still continues in this country). We ARE a military nation; Palestine does not have a military and is not recognized as a country by its nearest neighbor (and yes, I know the sentiment is sadly reciprocated). This country entertains (numbs) ourselves with violence on news and TV and theater. Oh, my friend, we are ALL bent on war. It’s time to change….and it starts at home.
While the currently Palestinian region was living in relative peace (under the Ottoman empire), the U.S. was engaged in a civil war that killed over 600,000 of its own citizens. Make no mistake, the Palestinians ALSO know peace and the importance of family AS do the Israeli’s. They do not prefer war, they abhor oppression and their crisis has direct legacy in OUR early Zionism, United Nations activities, western policy and capitalism, and poor leadership decisions through the decades. Palestine cannot figure it out under constant oppression, poverty (>80% impoverished), and internal strife while Israel continues to flourish and expand around it and within it. You’d expect the same intervention if you felt we were being oppressed; just as the Jewish Europeans were given the support of the world (including the Arab nations) through the first half of 20th century. The world has stood with us and others before in many important humanitarian and political actions. If we expect this to continue, we must stand with the world. And the world says, free Palestine. The precedent we would set by relegating the Palestinian people to war mongers (after seeing this video?!) and “backing off” without consideration would be devastating to the world.
Again, a world of peace cannot be achieved by nations who walk away from one another. The ripple effects of human rights violations and war spread far and wide and become the breeding grounds for nothing but resentment and evil… and evil knows no borders. It is our duty as a nation of human beings, not a mob human nationalists, to relieve their suffering with diplomacy, basic human needs, and compassion. Free yourself from the isolation you condone, free Palestine. We are all Palestine, we are all Israel…we are all EVERYWHERE.