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article imageOp-Ed: Disproportionate military response and Israel-Palestine peace

By Abdul Kuddus     Jul 3, 2014 in World
Tel Aviv - The murder of three Israeli youths in the West Bank has galvanized the Jewish state against Palestine and sparked a confrontation, worsening the fragile peace initiatives in the Middle East.
Israel’s justification of anger into a brutal offensive against Palestinians could overwhelm the Arab-Israeli crisis and create martyrs on both sides.
While the mass Israeli anger over the death of three innocent boys is understandable, what puzzles me is the resolve to collectively punish those who were not responsible.
“Overnight, Israel stepped up airstrikes on Gaza. The military said it struck 34 terror infrastructure targets after 18 rockets had been fired into Israel since Sunday evening,” CNN reported.
According to Euronews, “Overnight Israel launched a series of airstrikes on Gaza. It followed a wave of missile strikes from the Palestinian enclave.”
Both the Israeli and and Palestinian leadership need voices of reason and moderation, not a rush to create circumstances that would trigger more violence and more martyrs on both sides.
In this light, Israeli’s military offensive simply endangers the lives of millions in Gaza and the West Bank.
The demolition of the homes of Palestinians suspected of killing the teens, without following any due process simply shows that Israel depends on military might alone as deterrence against perceived acts of terror.
Here, it is pertinent to highlight CNN, quoting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"A broad moral gulf separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death, we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty, and we, mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength.
"That is also the foundation of our unity," Netanyahu continued. "Throughout the history of our people, we have proved time and again – in view of the horrors that we have experienced the grief and sorrow –the force of life that pulsates within us overcomes the forces of death."
In my opinion, the Israeli military response negates Netanyahu’s affirmation about the “force of life” that pulsates within the Jewish state. In fact, it sanctified more cruelty than mercy and compassion and lacks vision to deal with the unfortunate deaths of the teenagers.
Reuters quoted a man named Mohammed, the uncle of Amer Abu Aysha, one of the two suspects whose house was razed by Israel.
"This is a country that tells the world it wants peace? What they've done here is absolutely barbaric. Look at the young boys here. Do you think they'll grow up wanting peace, or full of hate and revenge from what they see?"
The intent to collective punish Palestinians by bombing territories undoubtedly establishes Israeli’s naïve deterrence against heinous acts, just for the sake of entering into a violent escalation with Palestinian terror groups.
It would have been understandable if Israel took targeted measures to punish those responsible for the heinous crime instead of putting millions of lives in the firing line just for the sake of retribution.
The collapse of the US peace initiative has created a vacuum in the Israeli-Palestine peace road map, especially at a time when the entire Arab world is simmering because of the turmoil in Iraq and Syria.
The collective punishment of the Palestinians simply perpetuates the violence and deepens generations-old grievances to the point of no return.
The unwarranted military action could cause a spiral of violence and disrupt all possibilities of peace in the Middle East.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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