An eternal conflict

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the claims by both sides, the world has abandoned the Palestinians to their fate.

Editorial July 13, 2014

As Israel pounds the tiny Palestinian state which is itself firing rockets by the hundred into Israel, diplomacy once again has failed and this most intractable of conflicts continues on its bloody way. Neither side is willing to give an inch, and the Palestinians deny the right of Israel’s existence as strongly as Israel defends itself from what it sees as a terrorist state. John Kerry, of whom much was expected, has been unable to broker any sort of deal and while the geopolitical script plays out in the background, it is the ordinary people on both sides that fill the casualty lists.

The list is a one-sided affair, with Palestinians disproportionately represented. Sixteen were killed early on the morning of July 12, which brings the toll to 121 over the five days since the current outbreak of hostilities. The internet is awash with appalling imagery of maimed and mangled men, women and most heart-rendingly, children, who have died as a result of Israeli strikes. Their injuries are too awful to describe, their bodies limp in the arms of their parents whose howls of grief and rage almost burst from the screen. By contrast, there are clips of Israelis running for cover as incoming rockets are intercepted by the ‘Iron Dome’ defence system — but there are no mangled children their limbs at grotesque angles and few shattered buildings.

The plight of those that live in the Gaza Strip is an international disgrace. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the claims by both sides, the world has effectively abandoned the Palestinians to their fate, and it is small wonder that they fight back with a ferocity born of desperation. Thus far, no Israeli has been killed, though one soldier has been badly injured and an elderly man hurt when a petrol station was hit by a rocket. Massive ground forces are poised for an operation on the borders of Palestine and the body count rises by the hour. And who will put the brakes on Israel if it chooses to use main force? ‘Nobody’ would appear to be the answer to that.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2014.

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unbelievable | 7 years ago | Reply

And who will put the brakes on Israel if it chooses to use main force? ‘Nobody’ would appear to be the answer to that. . And who will put brakes on Hamas firing rockets into Israel? Nobody that's who. . It's easy to criticize Israel but I know of no country (including Pakistan) that would sit back and allow a terrorist organization to fire hundreds of rockets at it and do nothing. There are no clean hands in this conflict.

Sivaramakrishna B. | 7 years ago | Reply

I again say that the robustness of Israel’s actions in Gaza at least has the excuse that Israel is bombing those who are not Jewish co-religionists, during a time period that is not religiously significant to Jews, targeting those who are not claimed to be Israeli citizens on territory that is not claimed by Israel.

On the other hand, the robustness of Pakistan’s action in North Waziristan is inexplicable against the backdrop that Pakistan is bombing Islamic co-religionists, during a time period that is religiously significant to Muslims, targeting those who are claimed to be citizens of Pakistan on territory that is claimed by Pakistan.

Naming a military operation Zarb-e-Azb after the sword of founder of Islam does not absolve Pakistan of the heinousness of her actions which has rendered 800,000 Pathan’s homeless during the month of Ramazan. It behooves Pakistan to remain totally silent on what Israel does in Gaza and instead repent for its actions in North Waziristan. If Pakistan insists on being hypocritical, it may do so by condemning China for restricting fasting by Uighur’s in Xinjiang.

Finally, why is Pakistan following Israeli precedent in North Waziristan? Why does Pakistan not follow India’s example in Jammu & Kashmir and spare North Waziristan of indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by ceasing bombing and shelling?

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