Out of an abundance of guilt following the Holocaust of WWII, Great Britain and much of the world decided to create a permanent homeland for Jews called Israel. In doing so, they displaced thousands of Palestinians.
What has happened over the ensuing years and generations is, to say the least, complicated.
Indeed, since its creation, Israel has been under attack by Palestinians seeking to reclaim their land and Arab nations who resented their new neighbors. Through it all, Israel seems to have adopted a strategy of disproportionate retaliation for the attacks. For each Israeli killed, many more Palestinians have died.
The current Israeli-Hamas war is no exception.
Following the horrific terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,200 Israeli citizens, Israel has so far killed more than 18,000 Palestinians in densely populated Gaza. And the Israeli government says it has no plans to stop.
Perhaps such a toll could be justified if the vast majority of the casualties were militants and terrorists. But, according to studies by two Israeli publications, 61 percent of the Palestinian casualties are civilians! The deaths in Gaza have also included 63 journalists and more than 100 UNRWA aid workers.
And, it seems, that’s only the beginning.
The Israeli government says it intends to continue its operations in Gaza for a month or more despite UN warnings that many of Gaza’s remaining population are in immediate danger of dying from starvation and disease.
And what will the war accomplish? Likely nothing. Certainly, the bombings will reduce the number of Hamas militants, and it will destroy most of their tunnels. But many of the surviving Gazans, having seen their families slaughtered, will become future terrorists who will themselves seek revenge.
Such a predictable outcome points to the extreme futility of the situation.
Until the world comes up with a permanent solution for the estimated 5.9 million Palestinian refugees, including reparations and self-government, they and the Israelis will be stuck in a continuing cycle of bloodshed that neither side can truly win.
Further, both sides and their supporters need to be reminded that one set of war crimes does not justify another.