I got into an email exchange with a Jewish friend who happens to be progressive on every issue except Israel.
He did not defend the killing of the babies in Gaza but came awfully close. He wrote that “while I share your horror about those Palestinian children, they were not intentionally targeted by the IDF. The goal was the kill militants not kids. That makes a difference, no?”
I rewrote his sentence this way, ”while I share your horror about those Israeli children, they were not intentionally targeted by the Palestinians. The goal was to kill soldiers not kids. That makes a difference, no?”
I added: “To those kids who are gone forever and, even more, to their parents who will never get over the deaths of their kids, the the intention of the person who sent the missile or bomb is irrelevant. If a child is killed by a drunk driver, does it matter that the driver was drunk and would never have intended to kill a child?”
I got no response.
I apply this logic to the killing of kids in Gaza, in Israel, on settlements and anywhere. Yes, there are accidents but is lobbing a missile into a populated area or carrying an explosive into a shopping mall ever an accident?
Yesterday, I posted a piece by a professor on the concept of just war. One key point jumped out at me. An attack is justified ONLY if every other means has been exhausted.
The Israeli government not only refuses to deal with Hamas, it even prevents the United States, the EU and whoever else it can from dealing with Hamas.
Suppose Netanyahu, instead of a military assault, asked a foreign government to find out exactly what Hamas wanted to end the shelling on southern Israel. The answer would have been precisely what Israel agreed to (although who knows if it intends to abide with the agreement?) in the cease-fire: lift the blockade, stop the assassinations, and get out of the border area called “no man’s land.”
Result: no dead kids or civilians of any kind.
The war was unjustifiable by any standard.
As Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat both said: the people you have to talk to in order to prevent war are your enemies not your friends. Is that so hard to grasp? Unless preventing war is not the goal at all.