On the issue of the war in Gaza right now I differ in some respects from both sides of the political debate. This is unusual for me, as I normally fall pretty squarely where the majority of the conservatives fall, and yet I found myself in an argument earlier today with two people I agree with 90+% of the time.
Basically, my position is this: I tend to think that in terms of an attack, period, being justified, Israel is in the right of things. I think that, as far as being justified in defending themselves from Hamas, they are doing nothing wrong. I think that Hamas was the provoker and that history is on Israel’s side.
BUT – but – I cannot fully say “I side with Israel” when the number of civilian casualties on the Palestinian side is so exponentially higher than the number of civilian casualties on the Israeli side.
I know what Hamas is doing, intentionally setting themselves up in front of schools and civilians so Israel is “forced” to attack there. What Hamas is doing is probably worse than what Israel is doing.
But, like the atomic bomb, certain things are wrong whether we want them to be or not. And the intentional inflicting of so many civilian casualties, especially when Israeli casualties are so few, is wrong. The numbers are simply too stacked to say that Israel is blameless in this.
So when people ask me “Well, what SHOULD the Israelis be doing about the attacks, then?” my answer is simply “Not this.” I believe it was in “Saving Private Ryan” when the answer given to the question of where the troops should fall back to was “Not here”. While I don’t know what the Israeli response should be I don’t pretend to know. I just know that what they’re doing right now is wrong.
I recommend Vox’s coverage of the war for an interesting view of the events unfolding.