Hamas versus Israel and Israel versus Gaza
With the recent horrific escalation in violence beginning with Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians on October 7th, I am fearing the worst, for my son, for all civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian and little hope in sight. I am known for always trying to be positive and finding a silver lining but the current reality is too awful. The number of killed Israeli (1400+) and Palestinian (8500 +) people are shocking and there seems no end in sight to the bloodshed. Almost everyone I know in the region is mourning losses of people they know; friends, members of families, students and colleagues. I can only imagine the nightmare of people in Gaza living and dying in an unimaginable hell, from where there is little chance of escape. Food, water, electricity and fuel have been used as weapons of war and the 2 million Gazans have been plunged into darkness, cut off from each other and ability to obtain basic human needs or call emergency services which are also under attack.
But instead of shifting people towards peace and saying enough is enough, I see Israelis and Palestinians shifting in the other direction. More hatred and vengeance that is not only rising within Israel but seems to be splattering every corner of the world. The solutions for Israel and Palestine lie beyond humanitarian aid, ceasefires and the ground invasion of Gaza which will not succeed in destroying Hamas and, without a plan for the day after, will only lead to more senseless deaths among civilians. The deadly events and escalation in violence within Israel and Palestine have to shift the international community away from blindly supporting Israel, towards human security and a sustainable solution.
The violent atrocities that unfolded on Israel’s territory by Hamas’ against Israeli civilians mirrored an attack by ISIS are no cause for celebration by anyone, except perhaps Putin. The kidnappings and deaths of whole families enjoying a party and living on tranquil kibbutzim known for its peaceful residents have traumatized generations of Israelis. However, given the realities of life and desperation of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation especially in Gaza, the horror of the violent attacks should not have come as a complete shock for Israeli intelligence or those familiar with the region. Israel’s government’s reaction, supported by its allies including the US and Canada, has been focused on the destruction of Hamas and the familiar Israeli security solutions of collective punishment, with justification of massive bombardments of Gaza. Although nothing justifies atrocities against civilians, Israel’s security strategies are what instigated the attack in the first place and the same strategies will do little to improve the realities for Israelis or Palestinians. Gaza cannot be run by Hamas or Israel. The solutions require a common road to be taken by the IC to push Israel and the Palestinian Authority behind a mediation table and place Gaza, at least temporarily, under international administration. Currently this seems like asking for peace on earth or a rainbow unicorn. For now, I am just hoping for my son to remain safe taking odd jobs as a medic or a security guard and not to be sent into Gaza.