I think that the loss of any innocent life from violence is regrettable. The question of innocence in situations where one people is collectively attempting to brutally dominate can always be academically debated, but I have no intention to introduce such arguments here nor to try to explain away this violence or diminish, in any way, the human suffering that it causes. It’s not necessary.
Instead, I want to express my sense of injustice in how our society’s emotions can be manipulated so easily into outrage at the killing of any Israeli at the hands of Palestinians, while consistently ignoring many more such attacks on Palestinians by Israelis. I find this one sided reaction rather disturbing in its bias, hypocrisy and blatant racism. The government and media feed and promote this reaction. They create criminally manipulative propaganda through their presentation of the facts and their context.
Let me put things in perspective to illustrate my point:
During the recent bombing of Gaza, 2,150 people were killed. Of this total, 76% were civilians. Of these, 500 were children and 253 women. In these same attacks, 17,200 homes and 244 schools were damaged and thousands were left homeless. It will take billions of dollars and decades to repair all the damage to infrastructure. The life and future of hundreds of thousands of people will never be the same.
In the same conflict, Israel suffered 68 casualties. All but 5 of these were soldiers. There was no property damage or mass civilian displacement or humanitarian crisis inside Israel whatsoever.
What have you really heard in terms of outrage and condemnation by the mainstream media or by our government about all of this?
And what about over this?
Since that genocidal attack, the Israeli government and Israeli civilians have continued to appropriate land, harass the population, demolish homes, burn mosques, defile holy sites, and attack and kill Palestinians. Even as I write this, Israeli civilians are attacking Palestinians and the Israeli government is destroying the homes of the killed attackers. Like so many others, it’s an act of illegal collective punishment carried out against the family of the attackers. The ones responsible are already dead, and therefore will not not suffer from that retaliatory act of state-sponsored terror.
It’s true that the history of this conflict shows that there are two sides involved. But that same tragic history shows one side consistently and increasingly occupying and stealing the land of the other side since 1948. It shows that one side has an army, a navy and and an air force, and the other doesn’t. And one side receives billions of dollars in US aid and gets to carry out any criminal act it wishes with total impunity, while the other is chronically impoverished and completely deprived by the former of even the most basic human rights.
One side is the oppressor, and the other the oppressed.
This social, economic, political and historical aberration caused by the Israeli occupation of historic Palestine has indeed produced tragic results for both sides. Real tragedies that have shattered equally the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians. But while equal in their result, these ensuing tragedies are not uniform in their root cause. They are actually distinctly different in that way.
Injustice is a major vehicle of such equal, but differently informed tragedies. It is knowledge of the facts that constitutes this difference. Knowledge helps one understand that while a tragedy is a tragedy is a tragedy, when these come about grossly disproportionately and as a result of one side’s institutionalized brutal injustice, one can’t hardly honestly view them as the same, neither in scope nor the responsibility for their root cause.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.