I'm angry at you, furious, like ready to scream at the first person who provokes me, like wanting to punch something all to mask the fact that I am frustrated, scared, sad and powerless. Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the destruction of Gaza and it's people. Is this a one sided rant, I guess if you think this destruction is okay, it's going to come across that way, so duly warned. I've been simmering on this for a while, too afraid to write because ultimately I'm going to piss people off, if my Facebook posts haven't already done so, but I didn't earn the nickname "Mouthy" many years ago for nothing, so I may as well do it justice. I just hope I can do justice to what I'm feeling.
I can't claim to be an international expert. I'm pretty smart and have been reading up on the issue for some time now, but the fact remains that well over 1000 people are dead, about 80% of them civilians. Now you may think that they are Hamas sympathizers, or angry Muslims or terrorists whatever, but the fact remains that they are people, most of them innocent. A great many of them are elderly, children, people without arms or means to a life outside of poverty, in short, they are pretty helpless when it comes to fighting the 11th most powerful military in the world. These people are being killed, relentlessly as they sleep, as they seek shelter as they seek medical care or spiritual sanctity. These are PEOPLE.
I can't believe I live among folks who consider themselves progressive, but refuse to value these lives. (I'm looking at you NDP leadership-I expected this shit from Harper and Baird, but not you!) They justify it, ignore it, give weak responses, say that the media is biased, when at the start of this destruction, the media was letting go of journalists who were bringing back the stories that showed a hint of what the people of Gaza are going through. Thankfully that has changed and journalists are at least somewhat being encouraged to do their jobs. They protest conditions on First Nations reserves and rightly so, but Gaza is apparently okay.
You can call me whatever you want, brainwashed, lefty, even worse, but I'm going to tell you something, if saying that targeting a civilian population, when you have the bloody technology to accurately target is wrong, then have at it.
Fact of the matter is, if you can look at those disproportionate numbers of civilians killed, and if you can look at photos of dismembered children and the grief ridden parents and not question it, then I've got to ask what in the world is going through your mind? If this were happening anywhere else in the world, you'd be raising hell. I cannot get over how people who protested and criticized their governments over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the slaughter of innocents can so blithely write this off. Did I miss a memo? Are the people of Gaza less human?
I'm a mother, I'm a child and youth worker, I'm a person who cannot look at these photos and not be shocked, saddened. I can't imagine what those mothers, those families are going through. The desperation of having no water, no electricity, no shelter and no safety and trying like hell to keep yourself and more importantly, your children alive. I, like most parents have for a few brief moments experienced the fear a parent does when their child wanders away, is in danger, or is hurt, or does something dangerous, it is excruciating and never before have I felt such panic and terror, it still makes me anxious. Imagine that (if you're a parent) 24/7 and no way out.
Peace will never come of this, if people haven't figured this out by now, then we cannot call ourselves civilized. If we can brush off or justify the murder of innocents to root out enemies, we cannot call ourselves civilized. If we cannot call out each other when we are out of line without all hell breaking loose, we cannot call ourselves civilized...we can't even call ourselves adults at that point.
Forget party lines, forget race, ethnicity, religion. Forget nationalism, borders and money and alliances. Remember that every child has a wish for when they grow up, every (good) parent wants to see their child grow up and be happy, old people want peace and happiness, students want knowledge, farmers want to grow, doctors want to heal and the list goes on and applicable to any one of the what 7 billion now? People on this Earth. In the big picture, our hopes, dreams, lives, fears are not all that different, we have more commonalities than not. However you have to want to see that, you have to fight for it and have faith and believe that somewhere deep inside a person, there is a significant part that is like you, even if they don't want to see that. If you've lost that piece of you, that willingness to do so, I'm afraid for you, I'm afraid for humanity.