I have a question.
How many terrorists are there in Gaza?
No, really: how many? Do we know? How do we define them? Are they the entire membership of Hamas, or only those who haul off with rocketfire into Israeli territory? Is any Palestinian who questions the right of Israel to exist a terrorist or just a potential terrorist?
Are the 350 and counting Gazans who have been killed by the Israeli military all terrorists? I have my doubts.
This isn’t the first time that Israel has lashed out at its provocateurs, and killed a disproportionate number of civilians in the process, and thus it isn’t the first time that various voices in the Canadian blogosphere have stated their opinions, staked their ground, and raised their voices at each other in a war that they don’t really have any say in.
Myself, I’ve been tempted to stay silent. Because I support Israel’s right to exist, and I acknowledge that they are surrounded by entities that want nothing less than to drive this democracy into the sea. I’m generally not one to armchair quarterback the moves of a military when I myself have no inclination to fight. There is no question in my mind that Hamas is engaged in terrorist activity, and if Israeli military action ends Hamas terrorist action, then that is, unquestionably in my opinion, a good thing, for both Israel and the people of Palestine.
But a year after over a thousand died in Lebanon, Hezbollah still operates, and still threatens the peace. How many Lebanese died in vain because Israel’s hammer blows failed to crush the Hezbollah nail?
If after 350 or more Gazan civilians die and the bombs stop falling, and Hamas rises to blast at Israel again, what can we say that Israel’s military action has accomplished except a whole lot of needless blood? How many more terrorists would have been created by Israel’s actions? How many more have to die before we decide that bombs aren’t the answer? How much blood is on their hands for sacrificing civilian lives in an operation that did little to secure Israel’s security?
How much blood is on our hands for cheering them on? Or, in my case, staying silent?
I think about this. I think about this a lot.