Israel, Hold Back

As Israel begins a ground campaign likely to add to a death toll that already exceeds 230 Palestinians, of which 80 percent are civilians, the public should ask if Israel’s response is proportional to the crimes committed. When Israel can mistakenly kill two disabled girls or misidentify a group of Palestinian boys as terrorists, the United States should ask whether the $3 billion given to Israel in military aid is appropriate.

Israel has committed crimes to such a degree that we should not distinguish between incompetence and malice. Palestine remains on a lifeline that Israel is threatening to cut by stopping the most basic supplies reaching Gaza. This is illustrated by Israeli airstrikes that have left 1.8 million Palestinians facing an “imminent water crisis,” according to Al Jazeera. The ongoing ground invasion can only magnify the intensity of the crisis; two municipal water workers were killed while they attempted to fix broken pipelines.Countless families must travel miles to find available water sources.

On September 23, 2003, the Guardian reported that 27 Israeli pilots refused to fly “track and kill” missions over Gaza and the West Bank. They stated, “We, veteran pilots and active pilots alike … are opposed to carrying out illegal and immoral attacks, of the type carried out by Israel in the territories.” Perhaps now is the time to heed this prescient advice and ask Israel to adhere to the restraint that it asks of the Palestinians.

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