Don’t blame Israel for tragedy in Gaza by Roy Clancy
The invective of certain world leaders has grown louder as the Israeli invasion of Gaza continues.
They’ve been joined by voices here at home eager to pin the blame for the tragic loss of life solely on Israel.
Fortunately, most Canadians have little difficulty understanding why Israel has resorted to such harsh actions.
For years, that country has been pummelled by rockets that place one-eighth of its population at mortal risk.
Cries for Israel to now back off and calls for an immediate ceasefire ignore the fact that when Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, the violence only increased. Or that Hamas used a previous six-month truce to double the range of its rockets.
While the bloodshed of innocent civilians is deplorable, we cannot forget that the Palestinians who chose Hamas in a democratic election weren’t unaware of that organization’s intent to destroy Israel and its predilection for terrorist tactics to achieve that aim.
Hamas hides amongst its own people to launch its implements of death toward Israel, then screams murder when Israel retaliates to protect its own citizens.
Yet this bloodshed is Israel’s fault, according to fanatics such as Ontario CUPE president Sid Ryan, who is calling for a ban on visiting Israeli academics in response to a Dec. 29 bombing that damaged a university in Gaza. If that site was used as an arms storehouse, Ryan should aim his vitriol at the academics who run that institution.
The moderator of the United Church of Canada called for an immediate ceasefire, in a statement suggesting Israel is chiefly to blame. “Peace cannot be achieved through violence,” said David Giuliano.
The good reverend should tell that to Hamas, which could employ the non-violent methods of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi to win sym-pathy for the legitimate grievances of its people.
The cowardly terrorist tactics of Hamas show it is interested neither in peace nor improving the lot of Palestinians.
The world should direct its enmity accordingly.
EDITORS NOTE: As published in The London Free Press on Jan. 7, 2009.
| middle East It is clear that there are a great deal of uninformed Canadians like Roy Clancy who have no idea what has transpired to create this tragic event. First HAMAS was created by Israel and the MOSSAD to battle against the PLO. http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html Secondly, Israel has blockaded GAZA to punish the people for electing a democratically elected government that won in a fair election. They did not like the results, so they shut down the borders and did not allow food, medicine, electricty and fuel into GAZA. Let’s see how you would react under those circumstances.
POSTED BY: Kanwal
| Why are we arguing about fault? So what you’re saying is that the Palestinians should have to pay? You don’t think perhaps that Israel is over reacting just a bit? You know like the death toll is much, much, much, higher in Gaza (Gaza 700), I don’t know what to think because there’s no way that the 40% of the death toll (Children) can be a threat to Israel from schools and hospitals, especially if they’re UN hospitals. Speaking about rights to defend your country, GAZA WAS UNDER SIEGE- Israel controlled all the ports and roads letting the bare necessities in. Why doesn’t this “right” apply to the Palestinians? In the end does it matter who’s fault it is? Shouldn’t it just stop?
POSTED BY: Briget Leblanc
| middle east 650 death, over 3000 injured in 12days, 60% of these death are children! not to mention years back how palestinians were tortured by ISREAL, and now when they’re hitting isreal they’re being called TERROIST! you expect them to sit and watch … Isreal is defending herself..defending what.. they’re in PALESTINE that’s not their LAND… I’m sorry, but you looking after the wrong INFO..
POSTED BY: for your knowledge
| Israel’s remote, unmanned gunships are brave? The concept of courage and fairness usually includes a balance of power. Any reading of history knows it’s an old tactic to starve the populace on which an assault is planned, in order to weaken them and hopefully create internal divisions and chaos. Then the overall strategy is to find the right timing to move in with wholesale assault. But even then, it was usually man to man. Instead your vision of cowards are those who are not covered in armor, or who are not sitting securely in armored tanks and firing on civilians and children. Your vision of courage is to sit safely at a distance with a remote control an operate un-manned gunships to rein down death and destruction. I hope those who have the power to inflict their hostilities on you do not someday show you the effects of your vision of “courage”. Terrorism is a word with the roots in “terror”. Who is more likely to inflict terror — the brave guy hidden with a remote control death device or the children and civilians, unarmed, not protective suits and helmets, but utterly exposed an helpless. Brave guy you are! You must be on the Conservative letter-writing, or propaganda list. Keep trying. Normal thinkers know the difference even if you do not.
POSTED BY: Leila Paul
| really? IF you look at what Kanwel said and look at Human nature itself you can see that the people of Gaza acted out of desperacy when they elected Hamas. I was not there, and im sure neither where you so i can’t really say for 100% but logically thinking if the area you live in is in total ruins and a group of people offer to help but at a price you would take it. isn’t that just what the people of Germany did when they elected Hitler (they had no idea he would turn out to be a deranged lunatic). This is beside the point though, for you people to condem one side completely is to be hipocrytes of yourselves. If i do remember Canadians were once called “Peace Keepers” and we stood along side the UN for peace not faught with the US for “democracy”. It is NOT RIGHT to support one side who kills even once, and condem the others who do the same, you are not solving any problems by pointing fingers. Even if you put Patriotism aside, morally, picking a side in a fight is like giving that person a gun because they both tell that person that what they are doing is okay; in this case the useless killing of innocent people. Another thing that I would like to address is that Religion and politics should not be put in the same room. Doing something in the name of God is wrong whether your a Christian, Muslum, or Jewish; it even says at least once in all of those books.
POSTED BY: mk
| middle east If you have any knowledge. Palestinian people lived on their land for thousand of years and all of sudden 60 years ago Israel came and clam it as their promised land. Leave them live in Peace and have them run their own life. Israel as an occupiers no humanitarian legislation justify their doing to the Palestinian people
POSTED BY: Wafa Dawoud
| hamas hamas is a terrorist organization, plain and simple.their only goal is the annihilation of israel.these are some of the most hateful people i have ever seen.they sacrifice their own brothers and sisters to further their cause and their propaganda.any palestinian that ‘democratically’ voted for these people brought this on themselves. the palestinians that live and work in israel have one of the highest standards of living in the whole arab world,yet we have these murderous few who endanger this whole population with their hate filled rhetoric.these are the same people who strap hand grenades to the foreheads of 4 year old girls and send them to die.these people understand only one thing, and that is violence.i believe israel has the right to defend itself and should bomb hamas back into the stone age, then make peace with the rational leaders of the palestinian people
POSTED BY: k jones
First let me commend the London Free Press for publishing a wide variety of opinions on its letter page on the current crisis in Gaza. However, the London Free Press published a Point of View “Don’t Blame Israel for tragedy in Gaza,” By Roy Clancy, on January 7, 2008.
This opinion piece is full of nonsense, historical inaccuracies and factual errors that it is not fit to be published in a responsible news paper.
However, given the bias and lack of knowledge of many Canadians and in particular journalists like Roy Clancy it passes as informed opinion when in fact it greatly misleads readers who expect that there is a at least some factual basis for the published opinion.
However, even uniformed opinions have a right to be expressed.
There is, however, a duty for the media to allow contrary opinions be provided and that factual errors be corrected.
For example, contrary to what Mr. Clancy alleges, and while Israel formerly withdrew its 8,000 illegal Jewish settlers and soldiers, Israel has never ended its control and its siege of Gaza.
Virtually all authorities still consider Gaza Israeli controlled occupied territory that functioned as an open air prison for 1.5 million Palestinians.
Clancy asserts that that when Israeli soldiers withdrew the violence increased in Gaza.
The facts speak for themselves.
In the three years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire.
On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.
Not a single Israeli was killed by Hamas rocket fire in the year preceding the current Israeli onslaught.
The continuation of Israeli siege, the denial of sufficient food, medicine and fuel supplies to allow Gaza to survive and the collective punishment of over one million civilians in Gaza was in itself a violation of the truce.
Israeli soldiers attacked Gaza on the 2nd, 5th and 8th of November, 2008.
It was Israel that broke the truce.
On November 15, 2008 Hamas retaliated for numerous Israeli attacks and provocations and only after Israeli forces had killed many members of Hamas and other Palestinian civilians.
Hamas honoured the truce it had signed with Israel and in fact offered to extend it but wanted Israel to lift the siege and allow food, fuel and medical supplies and to end the starvation of Gaza .
Hamas also called for an end to Israeli attacks in the West Bank.
It was Israel that refused to extend the truce as its current political leaders were behind in the polls and they wanted to show how tough they were by killing defenseless Palestinians.
Clancy’s claims are false yet he has the gall to attack church and labour leaders who have criticized Israel’s attack as “fanatics.”
Clancy also quotes Mahatma Gandhi oblivious to the fact that Gandhi was anti-Zionist and would no doubt be appalled by Israel’s violent behavior.
Gandhi said, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.”
I wish people would also inform themselves of the views of Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, George Orwell, Arnold Toynbee and Nelson Mandela on Palestine and Zionism. The uninformed would be in for a rude awaking.
To provide balance the argument I suggest that the the London Free Press publish an opinion piece from Professor Avi Shlaim, a Jewish and Israeli Professor of International Relations at Oxford University and author of numerous books on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, “How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe,” published in highly respected Guardian in Britain, which provides much need factual information and opinions contrary to the uninformed opinions of Mr. Clancy and other individuals who unquestioningly support Israel.
There are numerous other Jewish and Israeli exerts including Dr. Richard Falk, Professor Noam Chomsky, Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, Dr. Jeff Halper, Dr. Neve Gordon, Dr. Jennifer Loewenstein, Professor Oren Ben-Dor, to name a only a few, who provide contrary informed opinions.
Those who unquestioningly condemn the Palestinians to a brutal existence of living under Israeli military occupation for 42 years, support continued theft of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians even the most basic political and human rights should carefully examine their conscience and the reasons for holding such views.
Edward C. Corrigan
Barrister & Solicitor