YouTube – Palestinian Refugees Speak

Regardless of your political views, the fact that Palestinians civilians get killed and wounded daily is undeniable. Settlements are getting larger, the attacks are escalating in scale and the casualties of war are catastrophic.

The Guardian investigated war crimes in Gaza and here is their report.

Even with the most objective of journalists, it’s hard to assert that both sides are equally violent. Certainly, there are casualties in Israel and Palestine, but if we compare numbers it simply does not match up.

Israel’s military might – backed by the US government -, as well as its economic hold over the Palestinian territories, mean that it can always respond to a threat the way it sees fit, to ensure minimal domestic casualties and maximum damage to the other side.

This isn’t a judgement call on Israeli politics – but we all remember the attacks on Lebanon in 2005. Much of the world considered Israel’s response to the killing of a few soldiers wildly disproportionate and unprovoked.

Every country has a right to defend itself, but with Israel surrounded by enemies on all sides, many of whom would gladly destroy it in a heartbeat, she must be cautious. It’s dangerous to anger your neighbours with huge attacks and military responses; not only will you be seen to be unreasonably aggressive, but you’re also inviting more attacks.

In any case, attacks like the ones you will see below are simply unforgivable. A war between two nations must be fought between the two militaries with as few civilian casualties as possible. Such is the nature of conventional warfare, and this is accepted by the international community. Civilian attacks should be minimal if at all, as they have not volunteered to fight and give their lives for their country.

This should be the first step in reforming military policy in Israel, for its own sake. Media reports on the devastating refugee situation in Palestine and the daily bombings they have to endure will not reduce in number; if Israel wishes people were more empathetic to their situation, surely their own behaviour should be modified?

A note of caution before you watch this video – it’s heartbreakingly painful. Highly recommended viewing, but difficult to watch. It’s from a documentary titled ‘Occupation 101’ which is powerful and brilliantly done.

Take some time to reflect and think about what’s discussed and let me know what you think.

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