Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself
Although it is deeply depressing to see innocent citizens pay for the mistakes of a radical group, it is necessary for a nation’s government to be able to protect the interests and safety of its own people in times of upheaval -- even if it means bombing neighboring cities.
Beginning in December 2008, Israel and the Gaza Strip initiated a war which continues to be deadly for the Palestinians that occupy Gaza. With the number of casualties rising over 900, many criticized Israel claiming that this small nation has become a bully. These critics claim that Israel had no right to bomb the Gaza strip. Yet the reality is that Israel, like any other nation that is constantly attacked, has the right to counter attack.
Since 1987, the Palestinian Sunni political party Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the U.S., Canada, Australia and the European Union, has endangered and often killed Israeli civilians by using suicide bombers. Although Hamas gave up the method of suicide bombing in 2006, they have continued to attack Israel using rocket launchers. For years Israel has called for justice. On more than one occasion, they have asked the Palestinian government to bring Hamas to help them stop their attacks, but the Palestinians have refused to listen.
Hamas have run extensive social programs, such as establishing hospitals, schools, libraries and other services that have increased their popularity among Palestinians citizens. This popularity has proven beneficial. As long as Gaza continues to support Hamas, they can continue attacking Israel without worrying about the Palestinians in Gaza turning against them.
Israel’s attacks are not directed towards the people of Gaza, just like U.S. attacks in the Middle East are not directed towards the people of Afghanistan or Iraq. Israel’s attacks are directed toward Hamas and its terrorist members, who unfortunately reside within Gaza’s boundaries.
If the Palestinian government would have turned in Hamas, instead of protecting and supporting them, Israel would have not attacked Gaza. This whole incident could have been prevented. The Palestinian government refused to cooperate, however, and now Israel has every right to take action.
Israel should stop bombing Gaza, but only if the people of Gaza turn in the Hamas members that hide among them. After Gaza does this, Israel should pay for the war damages caused by their bombs and remove their troops from Gaza territory within a month. During this period, Israel should continue its search for more of their enemies and set up a peace treaty with the government of Gaza.
-- Walfred, junior
Israel Acted Unjustly
By now most people have heard of the unjust and cruel events conducted by Israel in Gaza. The largely Jewish country Israel, a major ally of the United States, declared war on one of the Muslim regions surrounding them. They attacked without mercy and consideration for Gaza’s civilians. Since this has been a key topic of discussion in the media and can be considered a religious issue, many of the opinions regarding this matter are partially biased. Due to personal moral beliefs, I can only be on one side of this dispute - Gaza’s.
Though Israel had the right to fight back against Gaza in their ongoing dispute, the retaliation crossed the line when the lives of innocent civilians were taken. Photos, videos and articles show the chaos that ensued in Gaza once the battle was initiated. Hundreds lost their homes, family members and crops due to brutal military attacks.
Israel used merciless tactics in their attempt to capture Hamas. They imposed a blockade in November of 2008, which prevented food and medical care from entering Gaza. They also attacked United Nations headquarters, filled with aid and supplies for Gaza’s citizens. Hundreds of people starved and suffered from grave injuries without proper care. How does someone justify the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians? It is not possible.
It is not just inexcusable, it is a war crime.
The group Hamas is a Muslim political party in the Gaza strip of Israel. Gaza and the West Bank, the small districts located inside of Israel, are now considered the only Palestinian territories. Ever since the Battle of Gaza in 2007, the West Bank has been ruled by another party Fatah, while the Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas. These regions were occupied and captured by Egypt and Jordan in 1940, then by Israel in 1967. This region has suffered from frequent harassment because of their inability to accept the seizing of Palestinian land after World War II.
Although Hamas is considered a terrorist group, about ninety percent of their work centers on educational, social and cultural activities. They have established schools, hospitals, and libraries in their country and in the West Bank. Under no circumstances is a terrorist group acceptable, and the continued attack that had been directed at Israel should not be warranted. No guiltless citizen, however, should suffer the consequences.
Israel was absolutely wrong in this conflict. Instead of approaching the trouble with organized tactics and an understanding of the predicament the country found itself in, they chose to use violence and cruelty. They not only sacrificed the lives of civilians, they sacrificed the integrity of their own soldiers by allowing them to execute numerous innocents. With a new president both in Israel and in the United States, maybe a solution to the hostility in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is possible. But for now, the cease fire recently established is hanging on a thin, breakable strand.
-- Alma, sophomore