I'm fed up. I'm angry. I'm outraged.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel. The real number is almost certainly higher, since thousands are buried under rubble.
Note that I said "people."
That's who they are, people just like you and me. Yes, they're mostly Palestinians. Yes, many are Hamas fighters. But 70% of the dead people in Gaza are estimated to be women and children.
How could this be? Because Israel has been bombing Gaza relentlessly with little concern for deaths of innocent people.
It's Old Testament warfare. Hamas killed 1,200 people in Israel. So Israel feels justified in killing thirty times as many people in Gaza, because, you know. the life of an Israeli is so much more valuable than the life of a Palestinian. At least, that's how Israel has been behaving.
On cable news, if I have to hear one more spokesperson for the Israeli military or government blab on about how, yes, a two thousand pound bomb was dropped in Gaza that killed dozens of innocent people along with a few Hamas fighters, and that's okay because Hamas started the war and hides among civilians, my brain is going to explode with more pent up rage at Israel than it already is filled with.
That's exactly what I heard today on CNN. The CNN anchor kept asking the Israeli why they didn't work harder at minimizing civilian deaths, since so many women and children have been killed in Gaza. He never answered. Because Israel's extreme right-wing government feels entitled.
Entitled to destroy almost all of the buildings and homes in Gaza. Entitled to treat all Palestinians as if they are Hamas fighters, which obviously they're not. Entitled to control Gaza after the war in defiance of international law. Entitled to reject a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, since Israel wants to permanently occupy the territory it has claimed since the 1967 war, also in defiance of international law.
People are starving in Gaza. People are being operated on with no anesthesia. People lack a safe place to shelter, given that Israel keeps on bombing locations that Gaza residents were told to relocate to.
There's plenty of food, medical supplies, water, generators, water purification equipment, and other things needed by people in Gaza just a few miles away in Egypt and elsewhere But Israel won't let most of those supplies in, claiming that they might be used by Hamas.
Well, so what? This is an imperfect world. To save lives of innocent people in Gaza, much more humanitarian aid needs to be entering the country. If a small amount goes to Hamas, so be it. That's the price of compassion toward the afflicted: sometimes unworthy people benefit from it.
A large part of my outrage at how things are going in Gaza is directed at President Biden. As a Democrat and proud progressive, I usually agree with him. However, his kowtowing to Prime Minister Netanyahu and the extreme right-wing government in Israel is disgusting.
Over and over, spokespeople for the Biden administration say that they're telling Israel more humanitarian aid needs to enter Gaza, a cease-fire needs to happen, stronger steps at limiting civilian casualties must occur.
Yawn. That's the reaction from Israel. And Biden goes along with it. Israel wants more American weapons to kill more innocent people in Gaza? No problem, the United States is pleased to oblige. This is both morally reprehensible and politically stupid.
Half of Americans say Israel has gone too far in the Hamas war. And that was more than a month ago, so the percentage likely is higher now, since there's been an increase in this attitude since November. Almost two-thirds of Democrats feel this way, along with a clear majority of independents. The only group that supports Israel's approach to the war is Republicans, who won't vote for Biden.
Today Biden announced that the United States will be air-dropping humanitarian aid into Gaza. This is beyond embarrassing. The most powerful nation in the world, which props up Israel with massive amounts of military assistance, doesn't have the leverage to make Israel allow much-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza.
A Politico story has a right-on headline. I'll share some excerpts from the story.
When the U.S. sends military aircraft to drop food, water, medicine and other assistance for people in need, it typically does so in areas occupied by terrorist groups or hostile regimes, not allies. And yet, months of pushing Israel to allow more aid into Gaza — where around 80 percent of the population is displaced and famine looms — have yielded limited results.
...For close watchers of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has raged following the militants’ Oct. 7 attack, the move to drop aid from the skies signals Biden can’t persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do more for suffering Palestinians.
“We look 100 percent weak,” said Dave Harden, a former humanitarian assistance coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. “Administration officials are doing this just to make themselves feel better.”
On Thursday, dozens of Palestinians were killed while scrambling for aid in Gaza, prompting Friday’s announcement. “It was the final impetus,” said a senior administration official, granted anonymity to reveal sensitive internal thinking. Gazan health officials say Israeli troops fired into the crowd, killing more than 100 people and injuring some 700 more. The Israeli military denies attacking the humanitarian convoy.
Harden insisted that, short of convincing Israel to open all the gates into Gaza, the U.S. would be better off pushing Israel to allow 10 more trucks to go through currently open crossings. “Airdrops are a stupid thing to do. They’re expensive, they’re inefficient. It’s more symbolic to make people in the administration feel good that we’ve done something,” he said.
Don't believe Israel when it says it wasn't responsible for the deaths and injuries of the people desperate to get food and other supplies. Israel often twists the truth. A Washington Post story casts doubt on Israel's attempt to make it sound like their military wasn't responsible for most of the deaths.
If you're starving, it makes sense to rush toward aid trucks. Israel shouldn't have killed people who were simply trying to get supplies for themselves and their families. Here's a passage from the story that indicates the heartlessness of Israel.