Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thoughts on Gaza
Haven't posted in a while. It's hard to keep up a regular blog while juggling the responsibilities of college life. Some days, like today, I have so much free time to kill, I can post twice in one day. I have been thinking a lot about the situation in Gaza.
In one of my classes, a student declared Israel guilty of genocide, based solely on the fact that some innocent Palestinians had been killed in combat. The very next class period, we discussed the civil rights movement, non-violent protest, and basic human rights. Someone asked us to pray that Israel adopt non-violent methods when dealing with Hamas, accusing Israel of violating the basic human rights of the Palestinians in Gaza.
To quote C.S. Lewis' character, Professor Kirke, "Why don't they teach logic at these schools?"
I am not thoroughly up-to-date on the latest news from the frontline, but let us step behind John Rawls "veil of ignorance." (In other words, pretend you know absolutely nothing about Gaza or Israel.) Say that for decades, your country and your people have been under attack by a terrorist group, one that will not rest until you have been obliterated. Your government, under immense pressure from countries around the world, tries to appease this organization by giving them a chunk of land they want. "Land for Peace," cries the world. However, the terrorists are not placated. In fact, using this strip of land as a base, this terrorist organization can now fire missiles even deeper into your country. Over the course of a few years, the terrorists fire over 100 missiles into populated towns. You are a civilian in one of these towns, and in your town there is a siren. When it goes off, you have 15-30 seconds to dive for shelter before a missile strikes the ground, firing deadly shrapnel in all directions. Men, women, and children must walk the streets listening for this siren.
Now, what course of action is proper to deal with this problem? If the country were America, and a terrorist organization like Al-Qaeda, situated in any given county, had fired 100 missiles into our country, can you honestly tell me that you would not support military action to protect American lives? Or shouldn't America take the moral high-road and, in the spirit of friendship, express our problem using only non-violent protest, in the spirit of Ghandi? Maybe, just maybe, Al-Qaeda, impressed by our benevolent spirit, will decide that they don't want to exterminate us and abandon their attacks on our country!
Now, let us step back out of the veil of ignorance. The country is Israel, the terrorist organization is called Hamas, and the strip of land is called Gaza. What do you expect the Israelites to do? Sit outside the border of Gaza and sing Kum-ba-ya?
It's called defensive warfare.