ht on image: Josh

Israel Says Not Morally Responsible For Gaza Tragedy

November 9, 2006 6:51 a.m. EST

Ryan R. Jones – All Headline News Middle East Correspondent

Jerusalem, Israel (AHN) – While Israeli shells were the likely culprit behind Wednesday’s killing of 18 Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza, moral responsibility for the tragedy lies solely with the terrorists who continue to use the area as a base for aggression against the Jewish state, said a senior defense official.

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Israel had left Gaza in the summer of 2005 in order to give the Palestinians living there an opportunity to eschew violence and build a better life for themselves.

Read the rest of the article here.

I have a one-word response to this in immediate reaction. BULL.

How screwed up is our world and how unaccountable our governments that they can rub out any number of civilians (whether it’s the 18 of Gaza or the over 200,000 killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and pass the buck of responsibility by blaming the results of their actions on the “enemy?” I seem to remember Allied outrage over the initial Japanese tactic to bomb cities in China pre-WWII, then outrage over the Nazis doing the same…”It’s morally reprehensible!” the Allies cried out…then firebombed Dresden, then dropped atomic bombs on cities. That’s right, CITIES.

Will we continue to remain silent and through that silence (and subsequent justifications) allow governmental elites to do such a thing?

I really really really really really really hope the IDF DOES take responsibility fully for their shelling at some point. Asymmetrical threats like terrorists are ultimately not responsible to anyone but their leadership; and they depend on the fear response to their activities to accomplish their organizational goals; as well as knee-jerk responses by governments that end up sucking the system spiraling into increasing violence (which ends up feeding the numbers of terrorists!). Governments are responsible and accountable for their actions, and MUST, MUST (it seems to me) go out of their way to avoid descending to the levels of “terrorists” and take responsibility when they screw up.

In other words, if Hamas and Islamic Jihad are morally responsible for rocket attacks from within the borders of Gaza, then Israel is responsible for treating the Gaza Strip as a ghetto for years, and treating Palestinians as second-class citizens, and Palestinians are responsible for linking up with the Arab attacks on the influx of Jews into Palestine…it’s so cyclical, and SOMEONE needs to step in and break the cycle!

I often think of situations that have advanced to this level as a giant snowball, raging and bouncing and gaining speed and size as it moves down the hill. It started off small, but a series of small and giant decisions caused it to be what it is today. Do we just accept that and call it reality…we can’t change the circumstances, so we simply respond in kind? Or will we recognize that the snowball wasn’t ALWAYS this large and menacing and destructive, and choose to stand in front of it, knowing that in this sacrificial act some of those who act will be crushed? This DEMANDS losing a self-centered, self-preserving approach to life. Yitzhak Rabin did this, and was assassinated, and several other PMs of Israel did the same on a lesser scale (others reacted to this and chose to perpetuate and amplify the problem through violent means). Anwar Sadat did the same as Egyptian President on a lesser scale (he was probably more of the problem, but chose on some level to operate in opposition to the status quo). But Rabin and Sadat’s examples are quickly fading in the mothballs of history because men and women of integrity are not rising to take their place…

And whether governmental leaders step up to the plate or not, I as a follower of Jesus am COMMANDED to do so…to subvert the system of spiraling violence and passing-of-the-buck by simply choosing to daily follow Jesus, be accountable for my actions (including, and maybe especially, failure), and refuse to hide the light of Jesus shining in my life under a bowl or behind a wall. And if I decide to make the faithful decision to step in front of the snowball, I (and my family and friends and enemies) should be fully aware of the reality that I may be crushed…and that that potential reality will not define whether I step out or not. I am called to be faithful. Justice is not being served in the halls of Israeli government OR the upper reaches of organizations such as Islamic Jihad or Hamas.

Who will stand up?


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