Israel and Gaza: Time to ceasefire

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Nov 18, 2012 Israel and Gaza: Time to ceasefire

This blog is not only about criminal defense and the law, but about social justice.

War always brings injustice.

Less than four years after Israel went to war in Gaza, heavy bombing from each side of the border is now ongoing. Civilians are being killed on both sides, not just soldiers and other military people.

I am not a full pacifist, and never have been, as much as I remain heavily influenced by the non-violent teachings of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jun Yasuda, and Plowshares peace activists. I believe in Israel’s right to exist within secure borders. I also believe in Israel’s obligation to protect everyone’s human rights, and to exercise its military power with restraint.

When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Israeli government clearly knew that its withdrawal would lead to even more violence and military buildup within Gaza.

Rocket attacks have been ongoing over the years from Gaza into Israel. Responsive strikes have been ongoing from Israel into Gaza. What, then, motivated Israel at this point in time not only to make retaliatory strikes but to assassinate Hamas’s Ahmed Jabari, whom Ha’aretz’s editor-in-chief Aluf Benn (whether reliably or not) characterizes as Israel’s subcontractor to minimize violence from the Gaza into Israel by forces beyond Hamas? Benn finds Israel’s upcoming election to be a likely contributor to such timing.

Gaza is densely populated. Even if Israel is doing its best only to harm those who are fighters in Gaza, too many of those killed and wounded in Gaza are civilians. Beyond that, there is no excuse to target media and propaganda facilities — including to risk harm to those civilians located at such facilities — which attacks make me wonder how much Israel is committed against censorship within its own borders.

The situation is likely too complex for either side to be painted in black and white. That does not detract from the necessity to implement an immediate ceasefire, which is easier said than done.

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