Noncombatants suffer in Israel-Hamas War

Published 4:06 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

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To the Editor:

“Understanding the complexities of the lead-up to the Israel-Hamas War is required in discussing the conflict, “ according to former President Barack Obama.

He continued, “You have to admit that nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree.” (Pod Save America)

Obama acknowledged the horrific atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. However, he also elucidated that the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the mistreatment of Palestinians are unacceptable as well. More importantly, some folks have used the term, “genocide,” to describe the mass killings of innocent Palestinians by the Israeli military.

Per the Associated Press, the Palestinian death toll has exceeded 10,000. Yet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that he plans to annihilate Hamas, thereby risking the lives of countless Palestinians who neither support Hamas nor participate in radicalized groups that detest the encroachment into Palestinian territories by Israeli settlements.

Moreover, Netanyahu has not presented any goals and objectives, regarding the war. One troubling assertion by Netanyahu is that Hamas leaders and sympathizers are hiding among innocent civilians. Since that is the case, why would any leader of good conscience order the bombardment of buildings containing hundreds of civilians?

Seemingly, a more effective, humane strategy – without violating international law – would be a targeted campaign to neutralize the troublemakers within the context of avoiding collateral damage and safeguarding the precious lives of noncombatants. After all, Israel, which receives at least $3 billion in military aid from the United States annually (MSNBC), boasts an envied state-of-the-art intelligence apparatus. Why not use intelligence to locate and confront the “terrorists” responsible for the vicious attacks on Israeli women and children on October 7th? This could be done as surprise attacks at designated times and dates in the near future.

America’s support of Netanyahu’s bellicose tactics carries enormous political costs and consequences. For example, President Biden’s poll numbers continue to sink, in part, because many young voters support a two-state solution to the aforesaid crisis and an immediate cessation of violence.

Additionally, Congressmen from districts with appreciable Arab-Americans must see the proverbial writing on the wall.

Last but not least, some Middle Eastern experts believe Netanyahu will be forced from power, due to his careless, destructive actions in Gaza. Besides, in Israel, Netanyahu was indicted on numerous charges, including fraud, not long ago. So, he has a credibility problem.

In any event, I am displeased that the Congressional Black Caucus, with few exceptions, are copacetic with the state of affairs involving Gaza and Israel.

If Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would be protesting the massacre of innocent men, women, and children on both sides of the war.

Keith W. Cooper