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Will There Ever Be Peace in the Middle East?

            Less than two weeks ago National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said "The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades."  Boy, was he wrong. 

            I would be remiss to not comment on last weekend's attacks in Israel. 

            It doesn't matter if it occurs in Israel, Ukraine, or any other part of the world.  A planned invasion and attack on towns and villages that kills and injures civilians is an act of terrorism and those who perpetrate it are committing war crimes.

            While mainstream media broadcasts the horror of the violent attacks, they often forget to focus on the terror the victims face.  Instead, several TV hosts on mainstream news outlets have openly victim-shamed Israel.  Blaming the victim for the crime seems to be a growing trend. 

            Thousands of missiles were launched to start the attack on Israel and thousands more since then. Most landed indiscriminately, killing more than a thousand civilians and injuring thousands more.  That, and Hamas gunmen who crossed into Israel by land and by paraglider to murder civilians and take more than 100 as hostages.

            Fingers pointing on both sides. One citing that Israel had it coming and the other that Hamas is nothing more than a terrorist group.  Nothing can explain away incursions into residential areas and raping and brutalizing women, killing children and taking hostages.  How can one justify a brutal murder and dragging that body through the streets behind a vehicle?  These terrorist actions are meant to instill fear.

            Then, to have the kidnappers threaten to kill one hostage for every Israeli airstrike targeting innocent civilians is insane.  There should be no hostages taken and no airstrikes targeted against innocent civilians.  Those who hide behind hostages are terrorists not fighters.   

            There are individuals, groups, organizations, and yes, even United States elected officials who claim Israel had it coming to them.  Really?  Who does this and who supports the murder of civilians, some in execution-style followed by mutilating the bodies, and the kidnapping of hostages?

            Groups on some U.S. college campuses are holding rallies supporting the attacks.  A National Day of Resistance to support the attacks has been planned for today at some universities in the United States.  The Anti-Defamation League reported that one national student group described the attacks as "a historic win for Palestinian resistance," and called for "not just slogans and rallies, but armed confrontation with the oppressors."  Thirty-one student groups at Harvard University alone were holding Israel "totally responsible" for Hamas' actions.

            They say it is fighting back.  I say it is terrorism.  Last weekend's actions by Hamas are those of murderers not militants

            The fighting must stop but it's hard to call for a cease-fire after an apparently pre-planned, large-scale attack with the lives of more than a hundred hostages in question.

            I am reminded of the closing message from the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" that depicted a 12th-century battle for Jerusalem.  After a truce was declared whereby Christian, Jew, and Muslim were all welcome to worship in the city, zealots on all sides were not satisfied and war continued.  The line, "Nearly a thousand years later peace in the Kingdom of Heaven remains elusive" rings true today.

            Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?






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