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Machiavellian tactics of Israel too violent

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BY MOLLY GRAY

While Israel had an obligation to protect its citizens by responding to Hamas when they attacked by lobbing rockets at populated areas, the measures they used to respond to the attack did not justify the means. After killing 160 Palestinians, Israel has accomplished absolutely nothing, and it seems as if they’ve made the situation worse. I believe we are much further from a two-state solution now than we were before the attacks, and it doesn’t even look like Israel is interested in one anymore. In fact, the government has announced plans to build 3,000 homes in Palestinian territory.

Israel has shown complete disrespect to the people of Gaza and to the government with which it’s supposed to be negotiating. Hamas is the democratically elected ruling party of Gaza and received that title in January 2006. Hamas won the majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating Fatah, the main faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Since then, Israel’s violence against Palestinians has emboldened the more extremist Hamas and has even further diminished the power of Fatah, a party that is lead by moderates and has avidly pursued peace with Israel.

This is not to say, however, that Hamas was justified in its attacks on Israel; any attack on innocent civilians is inherently wrong. Attacks on Israel undermined Hamas’s legitimacy in the international community. But it is also important to note Hamas doesn’t have direct jurisdiction over some of the groups that did fire missiles over the border. I do believe that Hamas has a right to be angry at Israel, though.

For example, after Israel invaded Gaza during the winter of 2008-2009, parts of the territory were left completely destroyed, but they couldn’t be rebuilt. Israel directly controls the goods going into and out of Gaza, and it wouldn’t let any concrete mix inside the region in fear of Hamas using the mix to make bombs.

Arguably, Hamas has toned down its violence against Israel in recent years. The soldiers have been focused on becoming a more legitimate political group, and they’re almost avoiding confrontation with Israel. I would gladly argue that if Israel would only acknowledge the people of Hamas who were democratically elected to lead Gaza, then Hamas and Gaza would acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, as the PLO did before them.

That, though, is definitely not going to happen now. Israel’s full-frontal violent response to Hamas’s much smaller attacks have done much more harm than good, and Israel was not justified in reacting the way it did. The only thing Israel came away with was the death of six of its people. They accomplished absolutely nothing.

Israel’s response to Hamas was completely inappropriate. Fighting fire with fire has just created more destruction. After 167 deaths, Israel and Palestine are no closer to negotiations to end a 60-year-long conflict.

Israel has a responsibility to initiate peace between Israel and Palestine because it is so much larger and more powerful, both economically and militarily. Because of the way  it responded to Hamas it is obvious that it is not the beacon of peace and democracy in the Middle East it claims to be.

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Machiavellian tactics of Israel too violent