Today we are witnessing a war on children in Gaza City. The heart-wrenching scenes we have been exposed to beg the question of how such inhuman behavior can seemingly be tolerated by the international community without an immediate revulsion and concerted pressure on both parties to cease hostilities to protect innocents from becoming casualties in a conflict they neither are responsible for nor is it in their best immediate or long-term interest.
In what calculus is it acceptable to inflict large-scale misery, injury and death upon those whom we as human beings are responsible to protect?
They are all our children, just as those on the Texas border are all of our children.
How in God’s name or Allah’s name, or the name of any any other purported higher power, can these actions be justified?
I fully understand and support any nation’s efforts to defend its citizens. Destruction of the tunnels that are specifically designed to channel death and destruction to Israelis is strategically and tactically warranted. Targeted destruction of missile launchers whose only purpose is to rain down death and destruction on innocent civilians is defensible, even if the Iron Dome that shields Israel from such attacks is an effective defensive mechanism.
However, when collateral damage is the cost of making a statement rather than a byproduct of self-defense, one has to question the effectiveness of such a posture.
When nations that purport to be world leaders engage in tactics and strategies that make them indistinguishable from their enemies, when civilian lives are expendable and deemed the cost of war, when every effort to avoid such carnage is not made, we merely perpetuate a depth of hate and scorn that will last generations.
The short-term advantage of such victories is subsumed to the long-term hatred spawned by them.
How can those who have had to endure the hell that has rained down upon them in Gaza City over the past week, or worse yet, had to bury their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles or friends feel anything but immense hatred for those orchestrating the attacks?
Maybe Hamas will indeed ultimately pay a price for whatever complicity they may have in this dreadful situation, but surely the more direct violator will be identified as those who launched the attacks and those who provided the material support and weapons in the first place. Namely, the U.S.
The situation in the Middle East is complicated.
But this does not excuse the basic fact that innocent people are being slaughtered. The international community needs to express outrage at the specter of death and destruction so vividly captured in a world of instant media coverage.
We must do better and the Middle East and the Texas border are two places where we can and must make immediate and definitive statements as to what it is we actually stand for.
Republished with the author’s permission from The Detroit News