08 October 2023

The horrible war in Gaza and Israel... an unorthodox view as an American

I can hardly read news coverage of the fighting in Gaza and Israel. After more than 50 years of this, it is all but unbearable to read about such folly and violence. 

 My view on this subject is not popular in my country, but it is one I haHove come to from many years of thinking about it. And it is this. Israel was formed out of a worldwide sense of guilt for what occurred in Central Europe... the Holocaust. But the truth is that the same kind of aggressive war and forced displacement was used to create a "Jewish nation" as was behind all the other wars of aggression in the first half of the 20th century. And the unjustified attack, including attack on civilians, against Israel in 1967 has led to the longest modern military occupation in history. Tragedy abounds. But so does fault. Israel has made Gaza into an open air prison, and repeatedly used white phosphorous against civilian populations... a war crime. The attack on Israel is calculated, deadly, directed against civilians... and unjustifiable. But hardly unpredictable or legitimately claimable to be anything other than the consequences of a military occupation. 

 So, unlike in Ukraine, where a 40 year UN member was unilaterally attacked in a war of territorial aggression, this is a situation where neither side has acted with fundamental justification, and, sadly, the world community has been unable or unwilling to pressure the Israelis to stand down an occupation and conclude a permanent peace. 

 Which is why, horrible as this situation is, I believe the US policy at this point should be to urge peace but remain de facto neutral. Just don't do anything to exacerbate the situation while doing everything possible to exert pressure on Israel's right wing government and, to whatever extent we have any credibility or influence with them, to encourage the cessation of hostilities by Hamas and to start, some how, yet again, to try to find a negotiated settlement. But no military aid to either side, ever again. 

 Unfortunately, the most likely outcome is the violent eradication of Hamas, which will entail terrible violence and suffering against civilians. This is not the way first world civilized nations are expected to behave. We have serious problems that require more and more substantial international cooperation than ever before facing us. We simply cannot afford this kind of thing, and we must make clear that no way will we support it. Israel can "defend" itself, no doubt, and has a right to, but what they intend is clearly retribution, which we must not participate in at all. 

 That's my view. 

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