Human Rights in Gaza

There was a vote on a United Nations resolution that calls for an investigation of human rights violations in Gaza.  Just in the last month alone, it is estimated that more than one thousand Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured.  This includes many civilians, including children, who are not engaged in fighting.
The U.N. resolution passed with 29 nations favoring it, along with 17 abstentions.  There was one “no” vote though.  That belongs to the U.S. government.
This should not be surprising, considering that U.S. politicians are in the back pocket of the Israeli lobby.  It sometimes seems as though U.S. politicians in Washington DC are trying to represent Israel more than the U.S.
This “no” vote is also not surprising considering the U.S. government is responsible for hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths just in the last 12 years, from Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Libya, and elsewhere.  And we also can’t forget about the detention centers and torture.
The U.N. resolution condemned all violence against civilians, including the killing of two Israeli civilians from rocket fire.
Still, the pro-war politicians in the U.S. will not condemn violence if it is committed by one of their own, which includes Israel.
Stop the Police State
Violence rarely solves anything.  Violence usually just leads to more violence.  Will this madness ever stop?
Of course it is wrong and criminal for Palestinians to launch rockets into Israel.  Even if these people are desperate, it is no excuse.  Not everyone living in Israel is guilty of abusing Palestinians.  Many Israelis even oppose the policies of their own government.
The Israeli government is wrong and criminal for the bombs they drop.  The actions are not defensive, despite the rhetoric.  It is only defensive if the bombs and other weapons are being deployed on those directly responsible for the initial attacks.
In the U.S., if a criminal runs in to a crowded building, the police don’t just drop a bomb on the building to kill the criminal while calling all of the other deaths collateral damage.  They don’t do this because it would be seen as wrong.  Americans don’t want to live in such a society.
It is just as wrong in Gaza.  When innocent young children are dying, we can’t just write this off as collateral damage.  These children didn’t launch rockets.  In most cases, their parents didn’t launch rockets either.
One thing that most Americans don’t realize is that Israel is a police state.  But it is a particularly bad police state because it specifically targets one group of people, which is the Palestinians.
While some people talk of a police state in the U.S., it is nothing compared to what goes on in Israel.  Palestinians really are treated like third-class citizens.  They cannot travel about freely.  They are searched at checkpoints.  They are not allowed to travel on certain roads during certain times.  They truly live in a police state that is worse than most Americans can imagine.  Yet the American people fork over their tax money to be sent over to Israel, all in the name of good and justice.
The only way that violence is going to be reduced in the region is for more liberty to prevail.  This means that the Israelis must demand that their government stop abusing the rights of others.  It means a much smaller government and a much less militaristic government.  It means allowing people to be free.
There will never be 100% security one way or the other.  There are always risks.  But as long as there is a police state in Israel, there is going to be continued violence from disgruntled people.
The U.S. government should immediately stop all foreign aid to all sides.  The Israeli state must stop bombing people and it must stop its vicious police state.  Humanitarian aid should be allowed to enter.  It should be voluntarily funded.
We must condemn violence in all aspects on all sides, unless it is self-defense only against the individuals initiating the violence.  If the Israeli state is severely diminished in power, then I believe it is possible that Israelis and Palestinians can one day live in peace together.

2 thoughts on “Human Rights in Gaza”

  1. Geoff – your points are well taken, but you neglect to mention that Hamas has been placing rockets and militants in schools and in other areas were they are surrounded by civilians. Hamas then uses civilian casualties as propaganda.

    Also, I think there could be peace in the Middle East if the US government stopped its meddling. What incentive does Israel have to negotiate a lasting peace when the US military is standing behind it with a big stick? Ithink Israel would be much more inclined to compromise without US military power distorting the negotiations.

  2. Do we really know that Hamas is hiding rockets and militants in schools? This information comes from the Israeli government or the U.S. government, which both lie constantly.

    Even if this is the case, it is no justification to drop bombs on innocent civilians. If a criminal runs into a crowded building in the U.S., would Americans accept it if police started shooting up the building? Would we call it collateral damage?

    On your last point, I completely agree that the U.S. government should stop meddling in the Middle East. It should do the same everywhere else in the world. You can’t gain peace with more violence.

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