George Graham

I Don’t See Any “Good Guys” in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

GazaThere is ample provocation, of course – on both sides – but it’s hard to sympathize with either the leaders of Israel or the Hamas terrorists. They both strike me as merciless butchers. Anyone who deliberately kills and maims innocent civilians is a butcher as far as I am concerned.

I’ve heard both sides on CNN, and – as if I didn’t know already – they both have a case. Yes, the Palestinians occupied the land before it became Israel. Yes, Hamas is a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Yes, the Israelis blockaded the Gaza strip cutting off desperately needed supplies. Yes, the Hamas terrorists have been firing rockets into Israel and killing civilians…

boySo we clearly have “two wrongs.” But, as my mother told me, two wrongs don’t make a right. Make that three wrongs. The Associated Press reported today that the United States has blocked approval of a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel and expressing concern at the escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas.

U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the United States saw no prospect of Hamas abiding by last week’s council call for an immediate end to the violence. Therefore, he said, a new statement at this time “would not be adhered to and would have no underpinning for success, would not do credit to the council.”

That’s just plain disgusting! The U.S. is saying the international community is powerless to put an end to the Mideast bloodshed so why bother? Obviously, the U.S. is complicit in the slaughter taking place – just one more bloody hand print on the record of the Bush Administration.

But my main objection is to Israeli’s bombardment of the civilian population in Gaza.

I agree that the terrorist leaders should be hunted down and brought to justice. And I don’t care whether they were “democratically elected” by the citizens of Palestine. If some city in the USA elected a wanted murderer as mayor, the FBI would still go after him, and if he put up a fight, they would not hesitate to shoot him. But Israel has no moral or legal right to rain terror indiscriminately from the skies, blowing up mosques, and killing and wounding civilians.

In a civilized world, when Hamas started firing rockets into Israel, the Israeli leaders would have complained to the United Nations and a multinational force would have been dispatched to apprehend the terrorist leaders – using any force necessary. Since the U.N. can’t be counted on, then the Israelis do have some justification for taking matters into their own hands. But the way they’ve gone about it is indefensible.

I would understand, for example, if Israeli special forces were assigned to take out the terrorist leaders. I don’t see why the leaders of any country would hesitate to assassinate people responsible for waging war against them. That seems a lot more reasonable than blowing up women and children who have nothing to do with the dispute. It’s the random carnage that upsets me.

And it is even more distressing when you consider the motives for the assault might have something to do with forthcoming elections in Israel. Blowing up women and children in a “just war” is horrible enough; blowing them up to score political points would be utterly despicable.

Top photo shows a civilian gravely injured by an Israeli bomb. Bottom photo shows Palestinians carrying the body of a 4-year-old girl during her funeral.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for