Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Facts and Figgers

This Blog is about music. It's about me and the things I'm doing, and stories and even advice I think people may find useful.

When it was started, I didn't expect that politics and current affairs would also be a matter of discussion, and it took me a while to decide whether or not I should even mention this on here. But as 2009 kicks off, one of the worlds largest and best equipped armed forces are attacking an area containing 1.5 million people with an average age of 17.

If you don't know any of the background to the conflict, then there are plenty of places to find out the history. This is basically the latest round of a series of violent conflicts that have been going on since 1948. In more recent history, the state of Israel, with said huge armed forces, has been "defending" itself from rocket attacks by Hamas.

It may seem fair enough that Israel is taking action to stop these rocket attacks. But it isn't that simple. Whatever the political points of view, it can not seem right to anyone that the civilians of the Gaza strip are punished for the actions of Hamas. Look at the above table, and compare the numbers. When bombs and shells fall on towns and villages they don't hunt out the terrorists and leave the civilians, they kill indiscriminately. Much the same thing happened in 2006 in Lebanon when Israeli air and ground attacks more or less removed that country's ability to function. And Lebanon as a a country didn't support Hamas, hamas just happened to operate from Lebanon. Its as crazy as saying if UK nationals where found to be involved in the attacks in Mumbai, should the Indian air force bomb British cities, and if they did would the people who suffered be the people responsible for the terrorism, or innocent civilians?

It is not my wish to criticise the Israeli state, or the normal people of Israel. But the actions of the Israeli armed forces are, I think, evil. The saddest thing is, of course, that they will only increase the hatred of Israel in Palestinian minds and in the long run increase support for groups like Hamas. As for the US and by implication our country, they seem unable to criticise the extent of Israeli action, just saying that Israel has a right to defend itself. What does any of that matter to the civilians of Gaza?

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