Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Blog

Once again the world is focused on a tragic and devastating cycle in the renewed conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. It is as pointless as it is heartbreaking, and it must be stopped before it escalates further. 

Israel's murder of Ahmad Jabari, which began this round of fighting, has rightly been condemned by some Israeli commentators as an uncalled-for provocation. More than that, it was an illegal act, which set in motion the current wave of violence. The response of some Palestinian groups is also to be condemned. The mindless launching of missiles is neither a sound military or political response to assassination, and when these missiles take the lives of innocents they become acts of terror that must be denounced. Our hearts are with the many innocent victims of the latest cross-border violence in Gaza and Israel, and we urge our government to press all sides to end these attacks before they bring even more death and destruction. 

The U.S. government has, to date, only condemned one side: Hamas rocket-fire targeting innocent civilians in Israel. However, the Israeli offensive into Gaza – the worst since Operation Cast Lead – is not being met with similar disapproval. As the Israeli army continues to escalate the conflict, it has proceeded without any official criticism from the US.

Warnings from President Obama, the State Department, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice to “make every effort to avoid civilian casualties” has not stemmed the death of innocent civilians, women, and children in Israeli bombings, and all indications point to worse days ahead. This is an instance where Washington’s leadership is badly needed, to pressure all sides to put an end to the violence. To do any less is to allow this death cycle to continue, with its steadily-diminishing prospects for resolution, peace, and justice.

All people – Palestinians and Israelis included – have the right to live in peace and security. And the US must play its part, before it is too late. 

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