The death toll in Gaza is more than tragic, it is obscene.
In defense of Israel’s military action we hear: We have a right to defend. Civilians are not deliberately targeted. Nothing else has worked. Residents are warned to evacuate prior to artillery or air strikes. What would the United States do in this situation?
All valid to a point. But when 1,400 Gazan civilians are killed primarily because they live near Hamas activity, clearly any sense of balance and proportionality has been lost.
Is it likely the Gazan families living in this congested place freely approved of Hamas launching missiles from their neighborhood knowing the consequences would be a return strike? I doubt it. Yet they are punished in the coldest and cruelest manner, as if they were combatants.
A large majority of Israelis support this military operation. Just imagine what might happen if the population was as united to push its government to find a peaceful solution.
Why hasn’t this happened? Palestinians are desperate. Israelis are not desperate. That and the huge power imbalance between them makes the politics of peace more difficult than going to war.