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Richard Cohen turned blind eye to Israeli oppression in Gaza

November 29, 2012

Reading Richard Cohen’s column ( was not only troubling but to know that some actually believe this kind of nonsense is beyond imagination. While the loss of innocent life is tragic, no matter what the situation is, I was troubled to see that Mr. Cohen was working on rewriting history by implying that the Palestinians in the occupied land are the ones at fault. I was floored to read his analysis that one group cares about civilians while the other didn’t, when in fact Israeli war planes and shelling killed 90 civilians, including 26 children while Israeli civilians killed from Hamas rockets was four. This is not counting the 1,200 Palestinians injured vs. the 219 from the Israeli side.

First, if you are at war with another country, would you put weapons in plain sight? I wonder if Israel has a website showing the world where they hide all their nuclear weapons. So to say Hamas was hiding their weapons among civilians is out of touch.

Second, for those of us that cannot comprehend the Gaza Strip, think of Vanderburgh County, we have an area of 236 square miles with a population of 200,000. On the other hand, Gaza Strip area is 141 square miles (that is 95 square miles less) with a population of 1.7 million. In other words, Gaza has over 12,000 people/square mile while in our county we have 850 people/square mile. Now add on top of that a 26 foot tall barrier that Israel built to imprison this population. Then you can see that Gazan can’t escape or hide from Israelis rockets and civilians will die no matter what.

Before I get the ultra right wing conservatives crying foul and saying Israel has every right to defend itself, the U.N. and other international bodies consider Israel to be an occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters, and does not allow the movement of goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea (only by land) and Hamas was elected by the people of Gaza. Denying this basic right of freedom to elect a party means you disagree that Israel is a democratic country.

Finally, for Mr. Cohen to show one side of the equation such as Hamas ruling with force and no good comes from them, he must as well mention ex-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and how he started his career as part of Irgun and Stern Gang which were considered “terrorist” movements by the British. According to Howard Sachar (historian of History and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.), “The policy of the new organization was based squarely on Jabotinsky’s teachings: every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state”. Does this sound similar to Hamas policy against Israel? By all means I’m not saying violence is the answer, but to ignore history and claim the people of Gaza are violent while Israel is the weak one is ridiculous.

Israel and Hamas need to have a true face to face peaceful discussion to bring an everlasting peace to both parties and the people who elected them.

You can also read the article at:


From → Foreign Affairs

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