July 23, 2014


I am so sad about Gaza. Using indiscriminate and disproportionate force with total impunity is a crime. Israel pretending like they have no other choice than to kill in this fashion makes me feel sick.

By bulldozing civilians, Israel may be trying to turn the Gazan population against Hamas. However, if someone killed my children, I would hate that someone. With so many civilian deaths, Gaza is ripe with people who hate those who took the lives of their children and, consequently, have very little to lose. Is this not the antithesis of what Israel wants?

Sometimes the American media highlights this problem. In one of these articles I read:

One of the survivors, Bassam Abu Jameh, lay on a mat with a broken leg, his eyes rimmed with red. His wife, Yasmeen; two brothers; and three children, Batool, 5, Sohaila, 3, and Bassam, 1, had all been killed. “There is nothing left,” he said, pressing his hand to his eyes. “It is the end for us.”

He closed his eyes, lying still and letting his neighbors continue the account. After a while, he opened them again and announced, in a shaky voice: “I will marry again four times, and I will have 10 sons with each wife, and they will all be in the resistance.”

The cycle of violence will not end and is only made certain by Israel's response. With no end in sight, when will the international community step up and counter such violence?

Graphic from the Washington Post here


Jennie said...

Well said Emilie.

Xtreme English said...

wonderful comment. The reportage here is disgustingly lopsided. I am very sorry for all concerned. What can we do? Didn't the Israeli women have an organization called "Women In Black" who met every Friday in protest of....what? I thought it was in protest of Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians, but where did Women In Black go? I'd be willing to wear black every Friday in support of peace among our brothers and sisters in Palestine/Israel. And I will support any boycott of those "corporate persons" who are behind the violence. Peace to all. Your blog is a font of peace and love. Thank you!

Scarlett said...

I've been following your blog for a couple of years now. I like your pictures, and the way you look at the world. And I like you even more after reading this post.Thank you for sharing, and bonne continuation !

Marnie said...

I agree, although Hamas have done the same thing in sacrificing their own innocent civilians by the deliberate provocation of Israeli forces in the past, but nevertheless, Israel is despicably wrong and those who continually back them by supplying weapons are wrong. We need new people in power right across the globe. There are so few governments that are not corrupt these days :( My prayers are with all the innocent people caught in the crossfire. The innocent always lose in battles of greed and hatred. It's not fair.

An Tonia said...

Dear Em, as you know I really like you blog. I have never written anything since I am not a big fan of the whole commenting culture. However, in this case I couldn't help myself especially since this is such a huge - even domestic - debate (re antisemitism) here in Germany. I have never been a fan of Israel's settlement policies and for a long time was very sympathetic with the Palestinians. However, I have to say that I see things somewhat different these days. While of course one could question whether this a proportionate reaction and while you are for sure right about the hate that it breeds, I would like to ask what Israel should do instead? What would any other country do if let's say Mexico would fire missiles on the U.S. or Germany if the Netherlands had done so repeatedly? Would we sit by and do nothing? No, for sure not. Every country has to protect its citizens in case of an attack. Also the Palestinians use civilians as shields to to a certain degree provoke this amount of casualties. While I feel deeply with the families who have lost loved ones on both sides and wish non of this would be happening in the first place, I also see that there is little to no room to negotiate peace. If one side has the declared goal to destroy the other, there is no common ground where one could meet. I don't have a solution either. However, what is really annoying me in all these articles and comments published is that everyone is taking sides and pointing fingers without coming up with suggestions how to do better. I think this is pretty self-rightious by those who are not personally affected. Would things really be better, if Israel would have killed less people in response? Would the Palestinians come to the negotiating table if Israel would act more cautious? The past has shown that this would not be the case. So as sad as this might sound, I am afraid that nothing can or will change unless the people rise from within against political leaders and terrorist forces who dominate the process. And the rest of the world should be less judgmental. And if we speak of diplomatic involvement of the international community that - again - only makes sense if there is any common ground to meet on. And military involvement could only be a temporary solution.

Anonymous said...

I agree with An Tonia. Yes, the Israeli response may not be in proportion to the provocation, but they did warn those in the target areas to get out while at the same time, Hamas told the people to stay put. (At that point, who is really to blame for so many casualties. It's kind of like who is responsible for an accident, the person who caused it or the last person who could have prevented it. Also, as far as I can see, the reporting on this current conflict is very lopsided -- on the Palestinian side -- not on the Israeli side, and this is typical of most reporting on any conflict in the area.

Emilie said...

Antonia -

I will respond to two of the things you wrote:

"Would things really be better, if Israel would have killed less people in response?"

Yes. If it were the difference between your child being killed or not, it would make a grand difference.

"And the rest of the world should be less judgmental"

I actually think the rest of the world should judge more. The UN Human Rights Chief came out today warning of the possibility of war crimes being committed in Gaza by Israel. It is up to the rest of the world to hold countries accountable in the case of war crimes.

For me, it comes down to a very basic ethical premise: do unto others as you would have others do to you. The civilian deaths in Gaza aren't justified by the threat at hand and it seems Israelis can act without an ethical check.

An Tonia said...


of course it makes a difference for every individual mother if her child is safe or harmed regardless which side she is from. And I never said differently! All I said was that politically spoken at this point it would not have changed the big picture. The missile attacks from Hamas would not have stop or even lessened had Israel reacted more cautious. When in 2005 for example Israel cleaned out more than 20 jewish settlements in Gaza (Land-for-peace), the Hamas even quintupled their attacks on Israel.

Hamas is not a save keeper of human rights. It was founded because the fight against Israel under the peace oriented PLO was not "bloody enough". Israel accepted a 2-State-Solution in 1937 (Peel-commission), 1947 (UN-Seperation Plan), 1994 (Oslo-Process) und 2000 (Camp David). The Hamas does not accept peace in a state where Israel exists at all.

Again, I am not a fan of Israel's settlement policies nor a supporter of their non proportional reaction in this case (if war crimes are committed they have to be held responsible), but it is a fact that they react, which means that if Hamas would put down their weapons, this could stop. What this could indicate longterm for the whole conflict is a different story and would go to far here - plus I am not a middle east expert but just another person with an opinion.

I am surprised about myself as I have for the longest time been a strong Israel critic. However, I really think that the Palestinians suffer most of all from the Hamas.

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