There Are No Winners

Sometimes I do listen to “The Exchange” on New Hampshire Public Radio, and usually, it’s pretty awful, very left-leaning, more so, I feel, than most NPR broadcasts. But the other day, they had a panel discussion on the recent violence from the never ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Talk about intense! And, boy, did it get heated with whoppers like this

If I now come up and slap you in the face, would you like to still stay here? … They came. They slapped us on the face. They stole our lands and they kicked us out and they’re now asking us for peace. What peace are you talking about?

Now, I have to say, there are ridiculous statements made on both sides, from incredible denial to shocking ignorance of reality. Admittedly, while there are no winners in this conflict, the Palestinian panelists were speaking rather truthfully about the situation. They correctly brought up such truths as the encroaching Israeli settlements, calling the conflict an occupation, the millions of refugees wanting to come back home, the unequal firepower between Israeli’s, US supported and built, rockets, tanks and fighter jets, to Gaza’s homemade rockets, US aid and military funding — even calling the United States involvement as helping ignite the fire — and the Western media’s Israeli-biased portrayal of the conflict. All true. But, Hamas’ retaliatory collective retribution, killing innocent Israeli lives, cannot be condoned as moral and valid responses to these horrific policies.

The panel, blinded by all the violence, spent most of their time comparing death counts, calling each state the terrorist state, and who has rightful claim to the land. Anthony Gregory, has it right

The collectivism of war is one of the most wicked forms of tribalism in our time. Most Americans recognize that Muslim terrorists are guilty of regarding innocent people as a disposable means to an end. But they are not alone. U.S. and Israeli leaders do this too. The United States deliberately killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians through sanctions in the 1990s. Today, Israeli politicians and important public figures use crazed language calling on the government to ‘flatten Gaza’ or ‘send it back to the Middle Ages.’

I’m not saying there is a simple solution for the Middle East. But it should be obvious that just as Hamas’s rocket attacks are an immoral and ineffective way to defend the Palestinians, Israel’s provocations and reactions, which tend to kills dozens of times as many people, are also immoral and counterproductive. Whether the goal is seen as self-defense or to maintain an illegitimate occupation, the Israeli government has committed human rights abuses that in practice do not serve to defend anybody. The U.S. government should not force taxpayers to finance any of this, and so long as it does, Americans ought to be particularly critical.

As a side note, a panelists asks, why aren’t we at the peace table? Maybe if the Israeli government didn’t assassinate Hamas leaders trying to reach a peace deal, we could find peace. Nothing will be solved through violence.

Take a listen. It’s starts getting intense at the 15:00 minute mark.


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