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I accept that there will be terrible things happen in any war.  Mistakes are made.  Some warriors care nothing for the civilians they target.  Some commanders flush their ethics in the name of victory.  Nations make every attempt to dehumanize the people they are fighting.  These are facts, and they are facts which are a part of any military attack.  Human nature can't be denied.

What I don't accept is wanton slaughter of innocents which become a clearly defined pattern of behavior.  Like dropping bombs on heavily-occupied housing, targeting structures which - by the rules of the Geneva Conventions - are not to be attacked, and the use of antipersonnel weapons (flechette rounds, white phosphorus, and DIME munitions) in areas which are heavily populated with non-combatants.  One mistake, sure.  Two such errors, not good.  Three and beyond - you seem to be TRYING to hurt and kill innocents.  Beyond the adults who have no part in the conduct of hostilities, there are children - humans under the age of 18 - who couldn't possibly be considered as hostiles.  There are buildings which are not to be attacked, and which should be considered safe areas for shelter from the explosions.

Sadly, scores of children have been killed and the aggressor is now targeting hospitals and schools.  Let's see what the UN has to say about some of this when we meet below that cute orange doodle.

From THIS LINK at the Democracy Now! website, we have the following reports:

The latest attacks in Gaza come after Israel rejected a U.N. request for a brief humanitarian pause. The United Nations says at least 75 percent of the dead are civilians, including an estimated 168 children. In the last two days, Palestinian children have been killed at a rate of one per hour. More than 4,500 Palestinians have been wounded, and more than 150,000 have been displaced. Israel’s recent targets have included an apartment building where 19 children from one family were killed, mosques, a hospital and Gaza’s sole power plant. The United Nations says that a school for girls has been hit for the second time in three days.
Bold added to the above by me for emphasis.

Then there is this:

U.S. Casts Lone No Vote Against U.N. Probe of Israeli War Crimes

As the bombing of Gaza continues, the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to investigate Israel for potential war crimes. The vote was 29 to one, with 17 abstentions. The United States cast the lone "no" vote. In Washington, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters: "We will stand up for Israel ... even if it means standing alone."

Really, Ms. Harf?  With so very many dead non-combatants being mowed down and so many dead children in that small and impoverished area - MY State Department won't allow even the UN to investigate the possibility that crimes were committed?  Not even an investigation???  Why not, Ms. Harf?  Are we THAT afraid of what an investigation will find?  Is there fear that if crimes were committed, the US will share some culpability for those crimes because WE fund so much of Israel's military?  Shame on the State Department.  Especially on those at the top who commanded that the US vote "No" on this issue.

Finally, there is this from the UN:

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay: "Respect for the right to life of civilians, including children, should be a foremost consideration. Not abiding by these principles may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crippling effects of the Israeli blockade and other measures linked to the Israeli occupation of Gaza suppress the ability of the people to go about their daily lives and prevent them from rebuilding their lives and communities after repeated military operations. I reiterate my numerous calls for this blockade to be lifted once and for all."
And here we get to the heart of it all - the "blockade" of Gaza.  It is more of siege, actually, and it must be ended.  It causes unnecessary hardship for more than 1.7 million people in what is a blatant act of collective punishment.  If you want to radicalize any group of people - especially a group this large - put them into a prison camp from which they may not leave, provide them with inadequate food and medicine and electricity and housing, and then attack them with the best military hardware available on the planet - killing their children by the score and innocents by the hundreds.

Not a formula for "winning hearts and minds" at all, is it?  Sounds more like a recipe for a heaping pot of hatred, resentment, and frustration.  Sounds like one group is saying to the other, "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"  This certainly does not contribute to Israel's security in any way.

Let there be peace, dammit!

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*  EDIT:  *
I wish to extend my gratitude to those of you who care about Human Rights enough to bring this diary up into the Rec List.  Thank you all.

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Originally posted to Celtic Merlin's Cauldron on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Cauldron Group and Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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