When I read the headline: U.S. calls for an end to attacks in Gaza, I had to click, and I was filled with hope about this Gordon Johndroe, White House spokesman and new name on me (been out of the game for a while), when I read he was calling for an end to the violence and both sides to resume negotiations. That is, until I read the last line of his statement. "There is a big distinction between terrorist rocket attacks that target civilians and action in self-defence." It always really irks me when they say things like that.
It is true there is a big distinction between the rocket attacks and Israeli military strikes, in fact there are many distinctions, but the targeting of civilians and the lack thereof is not among them. How about the distinction between the Israeli military might and Hamas -- now that is a big distinction. I mean, these people in Washington are bound to be educated, don't they think if Hamas had F-16's they would be bombing the hell out of Israel, and the irony is they would then be killing far more Israeli civilians than they are currently so who could say they weren't targeting them, for which the same is true for Israel.
And therein lies the biggest distinction of all, the distinction between the rocket attacks, which have so far killed 1 Israeli, and Israeli bombardment which has killed over 100 Palestinians, reportedly 26 children. Now surely that should make the Palestinians on the side of right, it does for me anyway, because for me 1 child dying in wholly unnecessary violence, which the current Israeli actions are, as have so many been before them, is too many for me.
Even a toddler has been among the dead, and a 14 year old shot dead at a protest in the West Bank, simply for wearing a Hamas headscarf. This is turning into another Lebanon, I speak of the Israeli offensive in 2006 that killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians; similar in the civilian death tolls and similar in Israel getting away with it.
Oh don't get me wrong, the UN has condemned Israel for using "excessive force" and demanded a halt to the operation, and the EU has gone so far as saying Israel is in violation of international law, but the operation which began from the air and has become a ground offensive goes on without abating.
In fact, Ehud Barak Israeli defence minister made clear the offensive would go on for now: "It is time for action. The operation continues. Hamas is responsible and will pay the price ... We will deploy force to change the situation -- and we will change it."
Always very vain in their own strength, I know they will not cripple the Palestinian resolve, just as the Nazi blitzkrieg did not weaken the British stiff upper lip during World War II and the Battle of Britain. Saudi Arabia also drew parallels between the current offensive and the Second World War, accusing Israel of emulating Nazi War crimes.
I just wish they would stop using helicopters, and unmanned drones to launch missiles at homes they claim are being used by militants. In my opinion the best thing for Palestinians --apart of course from a complete halt to the operation -- is a ground offensive where these houses are raided by ground troops, at least the parents then would have a chance of keeping their toddlers and children safe until it was all over -- no one can stop a missile.
At least ground troops might see the child, and that the family was cooperating to save that child from coming to harm, or from watching its loved ones getting shot. Or at worst, the family member could act as a human shield for the child. As a new parent, as I said it just breaks my heart for children to die unnecessarily.