As the conflict rages on in Gaza and Israel, there has been a standard attempted at propaganda on both sides. Critics of the conflict, which everyone should have some issues with it, those against Israel point out that Israel is a vastly superior military power, and the lopsided deaths in the conflict. Critics of Palestine are pointing out some other issues, and it is here that I side with Israel.
As it turns out, like with most terrorists, Hamas is hiding behind its citizens. Israel warns citizens to flee (Egypt which has a boarder with Gaza) allows citizens to flee into their country, Hamas tells them to stay. Personally, if some country told me they were going to bomb the shit out of a site near to my home and I should flee, I would. I would grab what I had to have, and I would make a break for it, because I am a civilian. Homes and most possessions can be replaced, new memories can be created, but a live once extinguished is gone forever. So, when someone says to flee, one should flee.
One article making the rounds today (nearly a week after it was released) shows that Hamas used at least one vacant school as a storage area for their rockets. Yes, that is a violation of international law, and is something that Israel has claimed for a while. A recent article in the Washington Post also alleges that Hamas is hiding rockets in hospitals and mosques. As of writing this I had not found a neutral secondary source confirming this. Basically, every pro-Israeli source I found says what I believe, and I do believe Hamas wants a lopsided body count, while neutral sources are not to be found. Sorry Washington Post, I do not accept eyewitness testimony, and my feelings do not come into it. So we have Hamas using a currently vacant school, and rumors, along with the fact that Hamas militants are entrenching themselves in mosques and hospitals.
We also have the claim that Hamas uses citizens to protect its weapons, while Israel uses weapons to protect its citizens. Well, we know that Hamas has stated many things. First, they will not stop until they are all dead, or Israel is dead. That anyone killed in an airstrike should be referred to as an "innocent civilian", and as for that ceasefire that they ignored, one does not stop fighting to achieve peace.
I said it before, I will say it again. If Hamas stops launching rockets at Israel, Israel stops retaliating, the death and destruction ends. There is enough blame for this to go around, rocket launches, retaliation, death of innocent civilians and terrorists alike, more launches, more retaliation, and so the cycle goes. But here is the problem, I do not foresee Hamas stopping the rocket launches. Remember they have basically said no Jews in the region, no Israel, or death.
While most of us are many miles removed from the realities of the conflict, one of Gaza's supporters (Egypt) is starting to turn against it. I do not know how accurate the translation is, and I am not a huge fan of youtube as proof, but I will drop this here, and you should take it with a grain of salt (Alleged responses from Egyptian media).
Finally I will point out something else I said a few days ago, and I have said for a while now. If there were people acting like Hamas in Canada, Cuba, Mexico or some other Caribbean Island how long would it be before the US would take action like Israel? Do you think it would matter that the majority of rockets hit nothing? I am mostly sure that after this type of thing started retaliation would follow swiftly. Retaliation would be uniform civilian and terrorist alike would be struck, with apologize made to those who were truly innocent, but given the nature of Americans, most would place blame on the innocents.
Some would, and they should, I would not be happy with innocent civilians being attacked, but at this point we need to sit down and really look at the situation. Not the propaganda, the facts. Hamas has used nearly every ounce of money they have to wage a terrorist war on another country. They hide in populated areas to wage this war, and Israel retaliates which kills and injures people who had not role in the initial attack. But there is a problem with this, are they really that innocent? Sure, they are not firing the rockets themselves, but they did elect Hamas into power.
Ultimately this will end, as it always does. In time Hamas will go back to ground, dropping its jihad for a while. Israel will stop its retaliations, and an uneasy peace will fall on the countries again. Everything will resume its typical status quo. Countries will step in, try to help Palestine rebuild, they will try to create a peace agreement, Israel and the Palestinian government will agree to it, but it will once again be broken. Peace is ultimately of the people, just as war is. When the people finally have decided enough, they will elect rational people to office who will want peace.