Stop branding the Palestians as ‘bad guys’ |

Stop branding the Palestians as ‘bad guys’

For the past few weeks, the world has witnessed the brutal bombing attacks on the peoples of the Gaza strip. Gaza lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea. It has been under occupation at various times by Egypt, Great Britain and Israel.

Its citizens have suffered horrendously under Israeli control since 1967. Gaza, a densely populated city of almost 2 million on the Mediterranean Sea, has been mercilessly bombed and shelled in both 2008 and 2014.

This last assault took the lives of over 1,800 people, mostly civilians, including a huge percentage of children. Apartment buildings have been destroyed, wiping out whole families.

The Israeli military has shelled hospitals, U.N. shelters and schools, provoking worldwide outrage and condemnation; and yet the U.S. still pours billions of dollars into propping up an Israeli government that continues to slaughter Palestinians with impunity.

How many Israeli deaths is Hamas allowed to perpetrate before Israel can effectively respond? This is not a contest to see who has suffered the most. There is far too much suffering on both sides of this conflict.

Much of the world has stood by watching in horror as these obvious crimes against humanity have taken place without censure of Israel.

With all borders closed, the people of Gaza city have had nowhere to escape when the bombing started.

The $7 billion tab in damages that Israel has caused to extremely impoverished Gaza with its already struggling infrastructure, will likely be picked up by the international community.

Israel will walk away with no accountability as it has done in the past.

This has been a vicious cycle: Israel blows it up, the international community builds it back up.

One has to wonder what is behind the taboo of criticizing the Israeli government’s actions, no matter how wrong-headed they be.

In this case, the damage to family and community structure and the huge loss of life and property is irreparable. Gaza, Palestine’s largest city, may never recover from this last onslaught.

The United States has failed miserably in its moral commitment to this region and to a peaceful solution to the conflict by allowing these invasions to take place.

It could stop these massacres in a heartbeat simply by withdrawing the massive aid it pours into Israel,much of which props up its bloated military.

This is not a war in any sense of the word. Yes, Hamas has fired rockets into Israel resulting in three civilian deaths and while that is not to be condoned, Israel’s disproportionate use of force boggles the mind.

Although Hamas has been branded as a terrorist organization by the U.S., much of the world sees them as the resistance to Israel’s overwhelming aggression. Hamas will not negotiate a peace settlement unless the occupation stops.

It is true that there will be no semblance of normal life for Gaza citizens until Israel releases its stranglehold.

We should well remember that we have our democracy because our early American resistance fighters were able to free us from the oppression of British tyranny. Luckily for us, Britain at that time did not have a superpower backing them up.

The two-state solution does not stand a chance until the U.S. acknowledges the humanity of the Palestinians and stops branding them as the “bad guys” and starts giving them the kind of support it has always extended to Israel.

Terry Riley lives in Camptonville.

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