When will the madness stop?

by Richard on November 21, 2012

Embrace (formerly BibleLands) has an update from Gaza

“This morning, and for the third time since the beginning of the current war on Gaza on November 14, I have made phone calls to all our partners in Gaza to check on them and show our solidarity with them. The message I received was unanimous. There has not been a building or an open field that has been spared by the hundreds of Israeli raids and shelling either from F-16 fighters dropping all kind of missiles or from war ships from the Mediterranean, or tank shells from across the border. Anything that moves is a target, and people are tightly locked up in their homes. Most, if not all our Christian institutions, have sustained some damage, in most instances of broken glass, popped out windows and doors as a result of the shelling. Everyone I spoke to also said that the attacks this time around make the 2008 war on Gaza look like kids play. It is clear that given the unexpected surprise of the various rockets launched from Gaza reaching deep into Israel including Tel Aviv and Herzliya, Israel was adamant to unleash its war machines at unprecedented levels with no concern for human casualties. Israel is adamant to teach the people of Gaza a lesson they will not forget anytime soon. And who is paying the heaviest price: the civilians, especially helpless children and the elderly.”

“The photos of children, women, and senior citizens being shared on various satellite channels as well as through the social media networks are simply outrageous. The killing of eleven members of the Dalou family on Sunday when their 3 story residential building was struck by an F-16 missile that levelled it completely was sickening. Many other attacks on open fields, cemeteries, soccer fields, and parks seem so senseless and unwarranted. Israel seems adamant to create as much damage as possible before a ceasefire is reached.”

“Many of my contacts there have not been able to sleep at night given the constant explosions throughout the night. One of them told me that after the field next to her home was bombed and all windows of her home were broken and doors and shutters blown out, she took refuge at her cousin’s home for the night only to be surprised that the building next to her cousin’s home was also shelled, causing the windows to break and glass to hit her in the face hospitalizing her. I guess there is no place to hide anymore in Gaza, especially there are no air raid sirens to warn people and that buildings are not equipped with shelters there. Another friend who lives on the 7th floor of an apartment building in the center of Gaza city surveyed all the buildings that were demolished surrounding her home. She said that she felt that she was living on a earthquake fault line that all of a sudden became active, with her building swaying with each shelling. She again noted that the shells used this time seem to be 10 times more powerful that the 2008 war which is still vivid in her memory.”

“On the political front, there seems to be a lot of pressure on both parties to reach some sort of a ceasefire agreement soon, hopefully within the next 24 hours. Some of my friends in Gaza were optimistic and were actually praying that things will move in this direction, while others were very pessimistic about reaching some sort of an agreement and said that each party has an agenda that will not allow them to reach an agreement anytime soon. The agenda for Israel seems to be very much tied to the upcoming Israeli elections in January. Anything that will be perceived less than a total victory for Israel will cost precious votes, and for Hamas, having gone further than at any time in the past to reach Tel Aviv with its rockets, wants to affirm themselves as being the party that will change the rules of the game with Israel. They also have their terms to reach a ceasefire. The alternative to not reaching an agreement soon appears to be a ground invasion into Gaza as Israel has authorized calling some 75,000 reservists to get the job done. Should this happen, Israel will enter the ‘quicksand’ of Gaza and probably be there for a very long time. It will be quite easy to enter Gaza, but will certainly not be as easy to leave it. The damage, destruction and the loss of life will be something only one can imagine in nightmares and not in real life. Please pray for sanity to return to the politicians on both sides in order to avoid a ground incursion, and more importantly, pray that a just and lasting peace is reached that will end this corrupting occupation and that Israel and Palestine can live in security and peace as good neighbours in the future. Only then will these never ending cycles of violence stop.”

“With each phone call, I ended my conversation with a promise, visit Gaza as soon as the security situation allows me in order to be in solidarity with the people and to assess the damage and the great needs first hand so that we try to be of assistance to those most in need. Unfortunately one more time, we are being forced to shift back to emergency and pure humanitarian funding. When will the madness stop?”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

John Vagabond 05.12.13 at 5:53 pm

I used to live in Israel and know its people and politics well, so cannot let your comments pass without remark despite a time lapse of some months. In 1947 the Jewish people accepted the UN partition plan, which established the borders for both a Jewish State and a Palestinian state. It was the Palestinian Arabs, as well as every Arab nation around Israel, that rejected the partition plan and immediately attacked the fledgling state with the intent of destroying it and, as they so famously stated, “pushing the Jews into the sea.” In recent years the Palestinians have rejected at least two offers of statehood. Despite these realities, the media speaks repeatedly about “the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” and “Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” But in reality the Western media supports the radical Arab position that the entire State of Israel, the territory at the time of independence in 1948, and not just territories held since 1967, is “occupied.” Furthermore, it accuses Israel’s pioneers of failing “to treat the indigenous Palestinians with respect and good judgment,” ignoring years of Zionist advocacy for equal rights and fair treatment for the Arab inhabitants of the land, before and after statehood. The Israeli Declaration of Independence, the ultimate Zionist document, explicitly proclaims “the equality of all its citizens,” including Israeli Arabs. Do you seriously imagine that organisations like Hamas will simply lay down their arms and stop their aggression if a two state agreement were reached? Of course they won’t. The Muslims want it all in response to a deathbed hadith of the Prophet where he claimed all of the Arab peninsula for Islam and the multinational pan-Arab group which has historical roots in Israel will not rest until that happens.

2

Richard 05.12.13 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for your comment, John. You perhaps haven’t noticed that the comments aren’t mine, but come from Embrace (formerly the Biblelands Society) which is a leading Christian charity based in Israel/Palestine. We could argue for a long time about the narrative you’ve set out, but there isn’t any point. You completely ignore the routine injustices which are visited by Israel on the Palestinians and unless that reality is acknowledged I don’t think there’s any basis for a conversation.

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