Israel stated its intent is to only attack Hamas in this offensive that began on December 27, 2008, not to attack the Palestinian people, nor to reoccupy Gaza. How did Israel expect to launch a major ground offensive against Hamas without killing and injuring Palestinian civilians – and damaging their houses, food and water supplies, electric grid, etc.?
I'm thankful that Israel apparently took steps to warn Palestinians through phone calls, dropping information, etc. But, that does not relieve them of the responsibility for the destruction they have caused. And, by phoning Palestinians to warn them that their homes were in danger, they were acknowledging that attacks in a densely populated area (by air or ground) would result in civilian casualties.
Can Israel bring back the civilian lives lost? After Israel finishes its destruction, will it even rebuild the houses of the survivors?
I do not condone Hamas's rocket attacks, but their damage has been relatively minor, probably fewer than a dozen Israelis killed by them in the last year, and most of those within the last few days.
Certainly Hamas needs to be held accountable for their terrorism. But, Israel needs to hold all the Jews who have established illegal settlements in Palestinian territory accountable, too. And, Israel needs to stop demolishing Palestinian homes and killing civilians. Furthermore, the international community needs to provide adequate humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.
Palestinians and Jews need to unite to hold the radicals on both sides accountable for their actions. Personally, I am basically a pacifist. I strongly support persons finding nonviolent ways to resolve conflict.
Does Israel really think its current massive assault will stop the terrorist attacks?
While I commend efforts to end terrorism, launching massive attacks on civilian areas is not the way to do it. We can neither establish nor enforce peace by committing acts of terrorism ourselves. And I write ourselves, because each of us is partially responsible for what our governments do. And, my own United States government has committed such attacks in the past against Native Americans, against Iraqis and Afghans, and in between against several others.
The massive amounts of humanitarian aid provided by the victors in World War II to the losers probably did much to resolve the differences there and help keep what has been a relatively peaceful world for over 60 years. The areas where the will of the people was denied after WW II (such as Vietnam and Palestine) are perhaps where the greatest conflicts have occurred over the last 60 or so years.
It is time to stop the madness of war. I want more money, materials, and people devoted to humanitarian aid and less to revenge and destruction. Love will do more good than military action. Are we ready to unite to stop the madness of war?