Sunday, April 20, 2008

Since It's Sunday

Let me step on the third rail. It's supposed to be do unto others as you would have them to unto you, not do unto others as has been done to you. I admit it, I'm baffled. Why do people think that Israel's behavior towards the Palestinians is justified? Has it occurred to anybody that the Palestinians are responding the same way that the Jews did during World War II? It's okay to fight back against an immoral oppressor if you're Jewish.
After invading Poland in 1939, Nazi Germany set up ghettos nationwide to isolate the country's Jews and facilitate the "Final Solution" -- half of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust were Polish.

At its height, more than 450,000 were crammed into the walled Warsaw ghetto.

About 100,000 died inside from starvation, disease and in summary executions. Most of the rest were sent to Treblinka in mass deportations which began in 1942.

In the ghetto, a handful of Jewish paramilitary groups, mostly made up of young people -- Edelman was just 20 -- coalesced into a poorly-armed force of around 1,000.

The banner of one group was a blue Star of David on a white background, which caused Nazi ire when it was hoisted during the revolt. It became the flag of Israel.
But it isn't okay if you aren't?
The Gaza Strip has 1.48 million inhabitants and one of the highest population densities in the world. Since the election of the Hamas government in January 2006, drastic restrictions have been imposed on the movement of people and goods in and out of the Strip. The restrictions were significantly tightened when an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was captured by three Palestinian factions in June 2006, and again in June 2007, when Hamas took control of the Gaza strip.

Further sanctions were imposed following Israel’s decision to declare Gaza a "hostile entity" in September 2007, and reductions in fuel and electricity supplies were implemented in September 2007 and January 2008.

Gaza is almost completely dependent on Israel for supplies of both fuel and electricity, and it is over 80 per cent dependent on food aid. The impact of sanctions, adding to the lack of funding and the lack of coordination between Palestinian bodies, has resulted in critical shortages of food, medicines and building materials for humanitarian and industrial projects. In addition, virtually no industrial and agricultural exports have been allowed out of the Gaza Strip since June 2007. Israel's blockade has dramatically increased the poverty rate in Gaza, the effects of which are most acutely felt by children who constitute 56 per cent of the population of Gaza.
What the heck is the difference? Herding people into contained areas and depriving them of food, fuel and medical care is barbaric no matter who perpetrates it. I find it impossible to support Israel when they show a lack of compassion and forget the sacrifices that made them possible, but are willing to have another nation's people be disenfranchised and looking for revenge. I remember leaving the theater after seeing Schindler's List (not a date movie) and getting into my car and thinking "why do people continue to treat each other badly in the name of religion?"


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