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Israelis and Palestinians are at it again

November 17, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
The Israelis and the Palestinians seem to have started another round in their unending war, with innocent children among their victims: the 11-month-old son of a Palestinian journalist dead and a bloodied baby who survived a Palestinian attack on an Israeli town. Photos of both these little ones are being used all over the Internet for propaganda purposes.

The latest skirmish began when Palestinians began launching rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel proper and succeeded in hitting Jerusalem and other Israelis for the first time. The Israelis responded with targeted air strikes and may launch a ground war, since they are calling up reservists. More Palestinians by far -- 45 as of tonight -- have died than Israelis -- three. The Israelis have greater fire power and more men at their command. The Palestinians at Gaza, who by most accounts have been living in tightly restricted, crowded and miserable conditions, have support from Arab countries in the region. Iran supplied some of the latest missiles.

Like most Americans, I sympathize with the Israelis. It is a Western country in the Middle East, has strong ties with the West and has earned sympathy after the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews in World War II. It resonates with Christians as the place where Jesus was born, lived, crucified and was raised from the dead.

The Palestinians who live at Gaza, on the other hand, are largely descended from people who were forced from their homes a generation ago and have been living as refugees under conditions that most people could not be expected to tolerate. It's hard not to sympathize with them as well, though I condemn the violence of Hamas and the terrorists who have killed for the sake of their cause.

It's also hard as an American not to be frustrated that the various peace talks that have taken place between the two sides have never brought lasting fruit. This conflict has been going on for longer than I have been alive. So where does this all leave Americans? As I look at the pictures of those poor dead children, I hope these peoples will finally decide they've had enough of killing and arrive at a peaceful settlement. I also hope against hope that this latest skirmish will not result in further U.S. involvement in the region and yet another war.


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