Turning Their Backs
More and more unfolds, the news filtering through from some of the most dangerous places on earth, but this time we cannot blame Mother Nature for the threat to life. No, yet again it is humans that pose the most significant risk of harm to members of its own species, which makes me realise we are never that far away from freeing those ancient inner animal instincts. Just below the surface are those primitive urges that we try to hide with our so called morality, so called modern standards, with our donations to the Green Party or Water Aid to prove how civilised and compassionate we have become. Yet our animal urges lurk ready, coiled, spring-like, ready to shatter our self-deluding constructs of how civilised we have become, how distant we are from our mammalian brethren and their brutal acts of violence. In truth we are the most destructive of all species, ever:
We kill indiscriminately
We kill on mass with a single act
We organise and plan killing to make it more efficient
In some cases we kill the defenceless by the millions
We rage worldwide wars
We rape our planet of its resources
Then we again wage wars over the remnants that are left
We lock people up for killing other individuals
We reward with honours & status the leaders of state sponsored killing
We are disgusted by violence
We spend billions on weapons which unleash deadly violence
It is with this context in mind I have watched Israel & the Palestinians slip again into all-out war in Gaza, with rockets indiscriminately fired from Gaza into Israel and Israel unleashing on mass vengeful accurate bombardment far in excess of provocation. What is that phrase that Politian’s use, oh yes, “proportional response”! This is again yet more spin to justify killing that is politically approved, as if that makes it reasonable or acceptable.
The military of Gaza, the Israeli call them Hamas Terrorists, do fire rockets into Israel and should be condemned for doing so without question, it is simply wrong to act like this. However, Gaza has been in a state of siege by Israel since 2009, even a sea blockade, effectively starving the Palestinians. They are totally surrounded by Israel and have to use tunnels to cross the border with Egypt to the South to smuggle in food, fuel, medicines, etc. It is also worth noting that Israel have what they call the Missile Shield or Iron Dome, which is a system of missile launchers surrounding Gaza and designed to shoot down the rockets launched by Hamas, the system being 95% accurate. It is rare for Hamas missiles to land in any Israeli populated area and equally as rare to actually kill Israeli people, but when Hamas were accused of kidnapping three Israeli teenagers and killing them, hell’s fury was unleashed upon Gaza.
Israel has one of the most modern armies in the world and spends more on weapons per head of population than anyone else in the world, so to say this is like a flee biting a giant whale is probably a good representation of the disproportionate nature of these two adversaries. This is also the case when it comes to the Israeli response to the acts of Hamas, utterly disproportionate as now the tanks and the troops have moved into Gaza as well, seemingly bombing the hell out of Gaza by missiles, warships and jets are not enough of a revenge. When you talk of Palestinian Gaza, most think of it as this Middle East country but in fact it is much more like a densely packed sliver of land where the people are hanging onto existence by a thread, not that this would bother the Israelis, they want far more than their pound of flesh. Gaza is about 25 miles long by 3 ½ to 7 ½ miles wide, which means it’s about 360 km2 and crammed into it is 1.8 million men, women and children, or 5046 people per km2. To give you an idea of how small this is Greater London has an area 1700 km2 with a density of 4,500 people per km2, far less than Gaza. So when one of the most modern armies in the world drops a bomb or a missile into it you will get a bloody slaughter of innocents, sorry the politicians would say “collateral damage”. The “collateral damage” in this case being children, families, not really what you imagine the types of ‘terrorist’ that fire un-aimed rockets into Israel.
As images flood the media of this “growing crisis”, again political speak for all-out assault on Gaza, Israel claim it is necessary to invade Gaza to find the tunnels they claim are used by terrorists to move from Gaza to Israel to attack the people of Israel. This is likely to be true but this response is completely unjustified and highlights only one inescapable fact; that it is always the women and the children who bear the brunt of conflicts. The children completely traumatised by the Israeli bombing and shelling, seeing friends and families destroyed in front of them without warning, for no reason they understand. All the Israeli political elite are doing is breeding the next generation of Palestinians focussed only on war, and the next generation, and the next. We saw this in Northern Ireland where we learnt that peace was only achievable through discussions, through compromise, through agreements that all parties sign up to, only then will the children be safe.
But in reality this may yet be many years away, as Israel have the dominance and the upper hand, whilst they turn Gaza into images similar to those seen in Syria, the world is focussed on Flight MH17 and sabre rattling at the Russians. Once again the world’s politicians turn their backs on Gaza, which is the same as giving Israel the green light to do what they want. Occasional comments of how awful it must be for citizens on both sides of the conflict, how Israel & Gaza must exercise restraint, but nothing else. Again, as with Syria, the UK just does nothing, doesn’t even send in medical aid to Gaza or other essential supplies. No not a thing, Syria repeated again where Cameron does nothing to stop the slaughter, stop the destruction of entire towns and villages by overwhelming forces – sound familiar. Even the images look the same of the destroyed buildings, the looks of shock and utter despair on the faces of those who survived another hour, Gaza & Syria, Syria & Gaza, all the same now. Cameron and his reshuffled Cabinet have done nothing to help the people of Gaza, leaving the innocent people, children, to bleed as he did in Syria. I feel that the wars that are raging in the Middle East are going to continue to spread as I wrote about recently in my blog on the 3rd July 2014 (https://disabilityinbusiness.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/decent-into-world-war-3/).
But with all this horror going on in the world, we must also remember we are a species that has the capacity for the greatest acts of compassion, of love and of humanity. We are able to change our environment and our behaviour for the benefit of others and for ourselves of course. We have advanced more than any other forms of life, in the merest molecule of time, to become the dominant species of this remarkable blue rock spinning in space. We are also the most fortunate of any life form since the first cells free-floating in the primordial swamp, as the future is ours to decide, for the better or we shall join the dinosaurs and become a passing briefest of events to happen on this beautiful blue rock.
Yours most sincerely
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