1. The trigger was the assassination by Israel of Ahmed Jabari, a Hamas military leader. In retaliation, Hamas started to lob hundreds of rockets from Gaza onto Israel. In return, Israel began the massive bombing of Gaza.
2. As usual, the death toll has been lopsided: half a dozen Israelis vs. more than 160 Palestinians. Every Israeli death is avenged by more than 20 Palestinian deaths.
3. Using this criterion leads one to condemn Israel more harshly than Hamas. One moral measure has always been: he who kills the most is the most evil.
4. But the uneven death count is purely the result of uneven technology. Hamas’ (Iranian) rockets are just not very good (yet), and Israel’s “Iron Dome” defensive shield did a good job at deflecting 90% of the rockets. The low Israeli death toll is not for want of trying by Hamas. If Hamas could, it would wipe out all six million Israeli Jews. Their rockets are most certainly aimed indiscriminately at cities, hospitals, schools, children, hotels, etc. Don’t tell me that one side’s actions are morally superior to the other’s. Every day, hundreds of rockets rained down on Israel, even reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As President Obama said on November 18, “There's no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”
5. Then there is history - another moral criterion: Who has more historical right to “the turf” over which they have been fighting since 1948 - and before? For some information about this, check out my August, 2011 post:
Continuing to build Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory on the West Bank is also wrong.desperate people.
7. This way, things can only get worse. One worry is that Arab politics are becoming more and more “Islamized.” “Islamism” and Sharia law are ascendant, meaning that Islam is increasingly becoming not only a religion but also as a political ideology, somehow an antidote to Western influence. Regression towards theocracy and the growing role of religion in politics are worrisome. The separation of Church and State and the secularization of politics are one of the Western world’s great accomplishments. It took the French Revolution, the American Revolution, and other revolutions to achieve this. Hopefully, the infusion of religion into politics by “Islamism” will in time become as harmless as the role of religion is in European political parties which still call themselves “Christian Democratic,” but are in fact largely secular.
8. The “Peace Process:” it isn’t clear whether this is a never-ending quest, an illusion, an unsolvable problem. Equally unclear is why this is primarily a US responsibility. Do not other countries have as much at stake in the Middle East?
9. There is only one reasonable solution: TWO STATES. What part of TWO STATES don’t they understand? Of course, the devil is in the details. Right of Return, West Bank settlements, land swaps, etc. A myriad details must be worked out. But those are working points, and they ARE solvable.
I have just mentioned some of the considerations which lead so many of us to CONDEMN one side or the other. Condemnation is unproductive, yet that is what we mostly do. So instead, why don’t you judge things for yourself. leave comment here