By James J. David
If you’ve ever wondered why there is continued violence between the Israelis and Palestinians for the past 40 years all you need to do is look at U.S. Policy.
Let’s take the current situation in Gaza. The Israelis claim that they have ended the 40 year seize in Gaza yet Israel’s blockade has forced 1.5 million people in Gaza to go without food, medical care, heating fuel, electricity, clean water and facilities and infrastructure necessary to life or even a half-way decent standard of living. Israel controls the land, sea, and air preventing anyone from entering or leaving.
During the past 6 months there has been a cease fire between the two parties but just last month the Israelis violated the cease fire by firing missiles into Gaza killing 6 Palestinians. It was Israel who was the first to break the cease fire, not Hamas.
Why don’t we here about this from the State Department or from the media?
In response to Israel’s violation to the cease fire that eventually killed 29 Palestinians, Hamas fired primitive rockets into southern Israel, landing in open fields, and killing or injuring not one Israeli.
This ‘retaliation’ played in the hands of the Israelis just as they intended it to do in order to justify their immediate attack and to portray themselves as the victims as they so often do.
In response to Hamas’ rocket fire Israel launched an all out air assault on Gaza killing more than 325 Palestinians including 50 children, and seriously wounding another 1400.
Instead of condemning this disproportionate response, President Bush and Secretary Rice both blamed Hamas for the violence and stated that Israel has a right to defend themselves. Not one word was mentioned of Israel’s initial cease fire violation.
This is the kind of unbalanced Middle East Policy that has created a monster in the Middle East. There will never be any peace between the Arabs and the Israelis until someone in Washington has the nerve to make a change. Let’s hope this new Administration is serious about change when it comes to Middle East Policy.
– James J. David is a retired brigadier general who served active duty in the Middle East. He also served as company commander with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam 1969-1970. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.