Three days ago, Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” against the people of Gaza. Targeting civilian homes, mosques and cars, eighty-seven people have been killed and 625 injured. Israeli air-strikes on Gaza have reached eight-hundred and twenty four. Three mosques and at least 128 homes have been destroyed.
Four weeks ago, three Jewish teenagers from illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory were kidnapped and murdered. Without any evidence, Israel accused Hamas of this crime. In retaliation, Israeli forces raided more than a thousand homes, arrested more than 500 people and killed eleven Palestinians, including a child. Obviously for political purposes, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called the murders of the teenagers the work of “beasts” before launching this beastly attack upon my people.
Netanyahu had been looking for an excuse to prevent reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, to once again paint my people as the obstacle to peace in the Middle East and to distract the world from Israel’s settlement building on stolen Palestinian land, which is the real obstacle to peace.
Jewish “security forces” can kidnap innocent civilians, imprison them for the crime of being Palestinian, maim and murder, torture and kill children, destroy our homes and deny us our human rights yet in their minds their actions are always defensive and blessed by God. In their minds they are victims of the fact that an indigenous people who have cultivated and lived and died on the land for millennia happen to exist.
Are Israeli F-16s and precision guided missiles necessary to stop the stone throwing of our children? Making peace and ending the occupation of our land will stop the stone throwing. My people have no air force, navy, heavy weapons, or artillery units. We have no army at all but Israel calls their attack a war. This is not war, it is murder. And their actions are neither defensive nor blessed by God. They are founded upon hatred. They hate us because we live on land they want for themselves. They refuse to share our land as equals because we are not Jewish and only Jews have rights to our land.
Yes, Hamas has launched highly imprecise bombs against Israeli cities but let us be clear: over the years Israel has launched many times more bombs against Gaza than Hamas has launched against Israel. In their report, “Summary of Rocket Fire and Mortar Shelling in 2008,” the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC), highlighted that during the nine years between 2000 and 2008 Palestinian groups fired a total of 8,088 mortar and rocket shells into Southern Israel. In only nine months, between the disengagement of Jewish settlers from Gaza in September 2005 and Gilad Shalit’s capture in June 2006, Israel fired 7,700 far more powerful shells into Gaza.
Furthermore, Israel has regularly broken truces with my people. On November 4, 2008, Israel unilaterally killed seven Palestinians, ending its truce with Hamas that began in June of 2008 and setting the stage for its genocidal invasion of my land, which it called Operation Cast Lead. A statistical analysis from Harvard, MIT and Tel Aviv University found that “79% of all conflict pauses were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8% were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13% were interrupted by both sides on the same day)” and that “of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, and it unilaterally interrupted 100% of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days…. Thus, a systematic pattern does exist: it is overwhelmingly Israel, not Palestine that kills first following a lull. Indeed, it is virtually always Israel that kills first after a lull lasting more than a week.”
My heart is bleeding, my eyes dripping with tears. The United States must stop funding Israel, it must stop supporting its violations of our right to live in peace and it must stop providing Israel with the armaments to make our lives a daily living Hell.