My four year old twins quarrel quite often, mostly on petty issues and when I or my wife intervenes after one of them hits the first blow (with a slap, pinch etc), both would scream the same line of defence "HE/SHE STARTED IT!"
Hearing from both warring sides in the ongoing war in Gaza, one would hear the same childish arguments. The Israelis argue they have to attack Gaza because Hamas had broken the ceasefire agreement by firing rockets to southern Israel. But Hamas says it was the Israeli who first broke the ceasefire by organising military raids inside Gaza. Hamas also says they fired the rockets in response to Israeli’s blockade which has severely affected the transportation of essential goods to Gaza. To that, the Israeli says the blockade was necessary to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and the entry of terrorists into Israeli territory. And Hamas says they have the right to acquire weapons to defend themselves from Israeli military raids. Israel also claims they have the right the expand their military capabilities (with the generous help of the Americans of course) to defend themselves from their hostile Arab neighbours. Military raids, according to Israel are conducted against militant groups and terrorists in Gaza. Hamas says as long as there is Jewish occupation of Palestinian lands, militants have valid reasons to target Israelis. And the Jews argue that Israel is the land of their ancestors hence it belongs to them. The Palestinians obviously disagree and cry out that the land, which is now part of the state of Israel, less than a century ago was their homeland which they were forced to abandon because of the Jewish occupation. To the Jews in Israel, it is not an occupation but merely the return of lands which are rightly theirs as promised by God as proclaimed in the Torah and the Bible. And so it goes, on and on... (read more on the Palestinian case and the Israeli case)
Of course, the points above barely touch the surface of what is in fact a highly complex conflict situation. Nonetheless, one can clearly see that both parties blame the other as the source and instigator of the problem. Hence, neither will concede that it was their fault that the crisis has now fully escalated because both claim they are the victims, and as victims they have the right to defend themselves and retaliate against the enemy by killing them, and killing them all; civilians and combatants, men and women, adult and children.
Do any of these people seriously want peace? As far as I’m concern, all the hotheads in Hamas and the Israeli government should be blamed for this crisis. Time and time again we hear from both sides the argument that they are the victims and they had no choice but to attack. Is that really true?
The real victims are peace-loving civilians from both sides. And the true heroes here are the handful of dedicated and selfless humanitarian workers risking their lives helping the sufferring people.
To the hotheads and violent extremists on both sides, grow up! Kiss and make-up.
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