George Graham

Just the Horrible Facts



The following excerpt from an AP news report today should need no comment. Surely, the facts speak for themselves:

Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside, Palestinian officials said, as Israel pressed forward with its 17-day war against the territory’s Hamas rulers.

The U.N. said the strike occurred as staff members were trying to arrange a humanitarian pause in the hostilities so they could evacuate the civilians from the compound in the northern town of Beit Hanoun…

Kamel al-Kafarne, who was in the school, said that the U.N. was putting people on buses when three tank shells hit.

“We were about to get out of the school, then they hit the school. They kept on shelling it,” he said.

It is not prudent to criticize the Israelis. Any sign of sympathy with the Palestinians can bring a ferocious backlash. I’m sure you remember how actress Vanessa Redgrave was reviled for critiizing Israel in the 1970s.

But in the name of all that’s holy, how can this kind of mass murder be justified?

How long will Israel be permitted to massacre women and children in the conflict with Hamas? If all it takes is closing some tunnels and taking out those absurdly ineffective rocket launchers, where is the need for such savage slaughter?

This kind of butchery cannot be condoned in a civilized world – no matter what may have provoked it.

If Iran deserves to be punished economically, if Russia deserves to be punished economically, why should Israel escape sanctions?

How can John Kerry in conscience passively “negotiate” while all this is going on? In his place, I would tell the Israelis to cease and desist or lose every penny they get from the US.

With the butchery in abeyance, the world community should make it plain to both sides that any resumption of violence will be met with the harshest possible economic penalties.

In a saner environment, Israel might be persuaded to end the blockade imprisoning the residents of Gaza and moderate the draconian policies that inflict such misery on the Palestinian population. Hamas would then have no excuse for shelling Israel, and the Palestinians would have no reason to support Hamas.

Click for the news story.

Click for a detailed account.

Click for more on the conflict.

Click for US aid to Israel.

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