Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pop Quiz

After reading this rather upsetting article, I want to ask two questions of two particular nations involved in what is often rather euphemistically called a conflict.

First up is Israel, infamous for some rather, let's say, excessive methods of crowd control.

Q. What will this child become when he grows up?
In the bloodiest incident, a tank fired a shell toward a group of gunmen, killing seven Palestinians and seriously wounding 23, including gunmen and civilians. Many of the wounded lost limbs, and at least four were under age 14, doctors said.

Kamal Adwan Hospital was overwhelmed by the influx, and doctors had to treat some patients on the blood-soaked floor and on cafeteria tables.

Ahmed Salem, 10, said the shell was fired from a tank at a U.N. school near Jebaliya's market. "I was hit and fell to the ground. The man lying next to me had no head," said the boy, who was wounded by shrapnel in the leg.
A. This child will grow up to hate Israelis.

If some gunmen are using civilian children as shields, as the army commander in Gaza goes on to suggest, is it okay to shoot right through the children to get at the gunmen?

Probably not a good idea.

Next let's ask Palestine something.

Q. How to you think the family members of these innocent victims feel about putting an end to the occupation and furthering the cause of the Palestinian people?
Three Israelis ? two soldiers and an Israeli woman jogger ? were killed in two Palestinian shooting attacks in northern Gaza.

...Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells at Gaza settlements and Israeli border towns since 2000. Most attacks caused damage and minor injuries. There have been two deadly strikes, including Wednesday's hit on the border town of Sderot that killed two children as they played on the sidewalk in a quiet neighborhood at the onset of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

...In one incident, two gunmen fired on an army observation post near Jebaliya, killing a soldier before being shot dead. Near the Jewish settlement of Elei Sinai, two attackers killed a woman jogger and an army medic who came to her aid. The gunmen were eventually killed by troops.
A. They will come to hate Palestinians and never want to withdraw from the occupied areas.

I, for one, (and feel free to disagree with me on this) think that soldiers are valid if unfortunate targets...They're soldiers after all...But it's never okay to kill innocent civilians, especially two little children who are committing no other crime but playing on the sidewalk in the neighborhood they had no choice about living in.

Is my point not clear? Let's ask two more questions.

Q. Israel, do you think these now homeless Palestinians will quietly find a new place to live and continue to live a law-abiding existence?
Army bulldozers demolished 22 homes along a relatively narrow road leading into the camp, U.N. aid officials said, apparently to widen it and allow more tanks to get through. Armored vehicles avoided the booby-trapped main street.

"A bulldozer entered our living room and demolished half the house," said Hussein al-Jamal, a resident of the camp's Block 2, adding that he and his family fled, along with many of his neighbors.
A. No, they are now more likely to affiliate themselves with some sort of anti-Israel terrorist organization.

Q. Palestine, do you think this Hamas terrorist's assertion is likely to come true?
A masked Hamas gunman carrying a rocket launcher said he expected Israeli soldiers to leave soon. "Jebaliya will be a burial ground for their soldiers," he boasted. "They will run away and we will stay."
A. No, your horrific actions against innocent people are going to turn Israeli public opinion against the cause of the people you purport to represent.

Both of you two countries are very, very stupid and probably would have failed this pop quiz.

I'll get off my soapbox now.*

*Well, I probably won't, actually.

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