Gaza-Israel Conflict: Civilian Losses and Responsibility
“It’s not our fault. They started it.”
I don’t believe any of the parties can relinquish responsibility for the loss of civilian lives as easily as they do.
In times of crisis, it is easy to rally around one’s own tribe and accept things that we would never accept in any other countries. It is so easy to fall into the trap of one-sidedness, to the point that the loss of civilian lives is not even worth mentioning because their deaths are at the hands of the other even if they were killed by our weapons.
When there are two sides in a conflict, both claiming the moral high ground, each convinced that they have justice on their side, the civilians become easily dispensable. If the outside world did not raise concern about this, what would that say about us as human beings?
Frightened civilians are not objects that can be remotely controlled to react rationally in a chaotic moment, to run exactly in the right direction, exactly at the right time – in many instances they don’t know where to go. Children easily slip away, and in the heat of the battle, tragedies happen. Spokespersons shrug their shoulders and say, “it is not our fault, they use the civilians as shields” or, “they occupy us and kill our people, we have the right to defend ourselves.” So the attacks and killings go on, and no one is big enough to talk to the other.
60 years and no solution. So many atrocities, so much bullying and humiliation of the other, suicide bombings and evictions. So much self-righteousness and yesterday’s thinking. Enough responsibility for both parties to take.
I truly believe we are better than this.