Pro Israel? Pro Palestine? Or Pro Civilian?

2023-11-03 · 4 min read

Does being pro-Palestinian make you anti-Israeli?

Does being pro-Israeli mean make you anti-Palestinian?

One might think so, with heated rhetoric and public protests casting the current Gaza war in either/or, black-or-white, dichotomies.

human race The nationalistic extremes of both Zionism and Hamas would have us believe that “the other” is so vile, so reprehensible, that the only option is to call for a cleansing jihad, or holocaust.

But as these extremists depict one another in the most despicable terms, the picture they paint in scarlet hues comes from the same bloody bucket into which their “enemy” also dips.

For me, the question transcending whether one is pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, is whether one is pro-civilian.

One can abhor both a surprise attack that killed hundreds of Israeli citizens AND the retaliatory bombing of homes and refugee camps that have killed thousands of Palestinian citizens. In both instances, most deaths were of people simply going about their daily lives. Horrific.

Ironically, the extreme Zionists on one side and the extreme Hamas terrorists on the other side have created a crossfire that is killing their own citizens.

Some say such fatalities are regrettable but necessary “collateral damage,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “injury inflicted on something other than an intended target, specifically, civilian casualties of a military operation.”

But one has to wonder to what extent the current killing of civilians in Israel and Gaza fits the definition of “collateral damage.” As body counts mount on each side—now reportedly numbering more than 10,000—are these civilians deaths “something other than the intended target?” Or are they indeed the target, fodder to fuel the fire of extremism, or simply murders toward the goal of extermination?

Hasn’t it long been the case that the gods of war demand human sacrifice?

Isn’t war itself the true enemy, killing not only combatants but civilians?

May we one day heed the caution of Martin Luther King: In the land of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, all ultimately end up blind and toothless. Or maybe dead…

Jim Hannah

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