As Israel pounds Gaza with a might that can only come from thousands of years of rage, U.S. aid and a fearless army, it's time to step back and ask ourselves what, exactly, is supposed to happen after this assault?
The blogosphere and platforms like Twitter and Facebook are buzzing with commentary -"I'm protesting for human rights in front of the Israeli consulate" said one Facebook user on his status update, while another user urged everyone to "stop the anti-Israel rhetoric," to which someone replied "God forbid they should get rid of the terrorists...permanently!"
Ah, so Israel is going to get rid of the terrorists...permanently? And in a matter of weeks, no less, which would render Operation Iraqi Freedom moot and, really, we should all be thanking Israel for doing the job that thousands of dead Americans and trillions of our dollars just hasn't been able to do? Even though Israel was supposed to wipe out the terrorists during the surprise siege on Lebanon in 2006 and come to think of it, for the past 60 years of its existence, Israel has been at non-stop war with...everyone.
So what makes the recent assault on Gaza so poignant? What makes the rising death toll of women, children and, yes, militants, any more compelling than other reports of carnage from this part of the world?
As we enter a new year and rally behind a new world order that's hopped up on hope, my wish is for a more fair assessment of the Israel situation, one that doesn't just pit Israel against terrorists and therefore justifies widespread killing. Yes, it's absolutely and unfortunately true that Israel has suffered countless terrorist attacks and that the Jewish people continue to be the targets of violence around the world, but where does this violence come from? Is it anti-Semitic to even ponder the thought that the bulldozing diplomacy behind the creation of the state of Israel did disenfranchise a large group of people who, perhaps, have a reason to be angry?
Violence begets violence - so when does it end? And how many more nations need to be embroiled in this mess?
Yes, the world needs a safe and stable Israel - the country remains a beacon of democracy in a region of dictators and repression. But the world also needs for Israel to set an example and reject its trigger-happy ways that make the world question the legitimacy of its pursuits.