Although it didn’t make international news, not long ago, two Palestinian boys were kidnapped in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank and killed. Apparently, that is what led to the senseless kidnap and muder of 3 Israeli teenagers. A day after their bodies were found, Israeli jets bombed and strafed Gaza in reprisal for their killings. Not content with the military strikes, which Israel claimed were aimed at Hamas for attempted missile attacks, Israeli demonstrators called for further reprisals leading to the kidnap and murder of another Palestinian teen.
Now Israeli leaders are urging calm, asking Palestinians to rely upon the legal system. But that begs the question, why did Israel not make the same request for the previous murders? Why the difference?
The bombings in Gaza were not justice. They were indiscriminate killings. They may have killed or injured those responsible for the murders. Since no one has claimed responsibility for the murder of the Israeli teens, no one knows. Almost certainly, the bombings killed or injured innocents. Indeed, they were probably less precise than the United State’s use of drone missiles in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
If Israel is ever to escape the cycle of violence and revenge killings, it must rely on its legal system more than its military. It must be as outraged by the murder of Palestinians as Israelis. It must treat all people as equal. It must stop its expansion into Palestinian territory. It must end its policy of disproportionate violence as revenge. It must negotiate peace.
Moreover, the US must stop its unwavering support of Israel regardless of its actions. It must hold both Palestine and Israel accountable for violence and revenge killings. It must stop inflaming the situation with more weapons. Instead, it should place restrictions on foreign aid to ensure that it is used to help the poor and those in need. Not the military.
Loyalty is a good thing. But blind loyalty is not. It’s time for US politicians to remove their blinders and look at the actions of our belligerent “little brother.” It’s not a pretty sight.