Anja Merret
Anja Merret

Endless tit for tat in the Middle East

There was a horribly sad story in the UK recently about a young woman who had a minor accident in her car just before a railway level crossing. Due to the ice her car skidded onto the rail tracks as the booms went down. She got hit by the train as she was frantically trying to move her car off the iced up road. How terrifying were those last moments for her?

The Palestinians living in the Gaza strip must feel this way every day as they try to survive penned in their “concentration camp” without any significantly useful shelters, no food or water, no humanitarian aid getting through. They are desperately trying to find a way out while knowing that death is a distinct possibility.

Whether these civilians are hiding in their flats or in schools the bombs hurled by the Israelis will find them eventually. Now to add to this, the military is marching in for ground combat and instant bulldozing of dwellings. It’s all about meeting your neighbour who wants to terminate you with extreme prejudice, thinks of you as collateral damage and is ready to slaughter you.

Do you want to tell me these Israeli soldiers know every Hamas terrorist by sight? Besides having to guess who could be a possible enemy, do you not think that these people can panic and shoot at anything that looks dangerous and that could be a teenager trying to run away or a mother protecting her baby.

It’s so dangerous in Gaza that the United Nations has halted all aid deliveries. What about the people? No ceasefires are being headed. Sure a couple of people are in Egypt for talks. You tell that to a mourning family that is burying its beloved. Never mind dear, everything is fine, they’re talking.

To me it doesn’t matter who is at fault here. It could be Hamas’ leadership, it could be Israel’s Prime Minister and cabinet. I am absolutely certain that the Palestinians have huge gripes and grievances against Israel. And I totally believe that Israel has had to suffer persecution ever since the first settlers moved into Israel. One of the Hamas negotiators is calling to have the state of Israel nullified. Just for a change.

I absolutely believe that both sides have many reasons to hate each other, to fight, to want to kill each other. And I am sure these reasons are totally valid. On both sides. I am not disputing any of these hurts or injustices.

What I am crying out against is the way these disputes are being “settled”. If one can call it that. One gets the idea that Israel is sending in a whole army of bullies who are going to club these people into submission. And let’s use any method that could work even leaving children weak and hungry next to the bodies of their dead mothers. The UN states that, of 758 fatalities, 257 are children.

On the other side there is a handful, or maybe several handful’s, of Hamas militants, and maybe there are several handful’s of civilians helping. Of course. No doubt. And these Hamas people are wanting to push for totally justified change. And they are prepared to become martyrs for this cause and are expecting other Palestinians to join their martyrdom.

But! What about the people who just want to live their lives. What about the Israeli families living in border settlements who have to listen out for warning sirens and scurry for cover at a moment’s notice. What about the Palestinians who just sit waiting to get bombed without the assistance of organised warnings and bomb shelters.

When will this world ever be able to get rid of its megalomaniacs. There have been so many in the past. Surely we are a more mature society now. We are the so-called developed world. We have ways to control leaders who are out of control.

What can be done about the Mugabes of this world or the people instigating this war between Israelis and Palestinians? Where is the true United Nations Organisation that can actually do something to stop crimes against humanity?