Bruce Bisset: Gaza desert of hopelessness

By Bruce Bisset

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The UN is right to rail against Israel for targeting facilities such as school and hospitals, writes Bruce Bisset. Photo / Thinkstock
The UN is right to rail against Israel for targeting facilities such as school and hospitals, writes Bruce Bisset. Photo / Thinkstock

There are no rights in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; only wrongs. So, for any outsider to take either side is to choose which wrong to support - and that isn't right.

Nothing about what is, at root, an ages-old tribal war is straightforward; for every dark deed perpetrated by one side there is a darker one devised by the other.

Trying to determine who is "more wrong" is to ask, rhetorically, who cast the first stone.

The only certainty is that after centuries of upheaval, the enmity between the participants is endemic and enduring.

And regardless of how much wailing and tooth-gnashing goes on in the cause of some form of lasting peace, peace requires both sides be prepared to admit it. Since neither will, this war will only end when one or other protagonist is utterly destroyed.

That is why it is a tragedy - and why anyone not directly involved is better to save their breath and stand aside.

People of conscience find that hard to do when confronted - daily, via the internet - with explicit horrific images of children literally blown apart.

Compounded by the knowledge the death toll on one side is around a hundred times that of the other, making it easy to view Israel as the oppressive abuser and Palestinians the innocent victims.

But as in everything Middle Eastern, that's a simplistic conclusion.

Partly because many of those images are not from Gaza, but from Syria and Iraq, where the ones dealing indiscriminate death are another branch of the same fanatics using their trophy shots to propagate a propaganda war Hamas and ISIS.

Moreover, if civilian body count were the only measure, then the kill-tally of Hamas and ISIS in Syria and Iraq measured in tens of thousands - would make the Gazan conflict pale to seeming insignificance.

This by no means excuses the xenophobic policies and trigger-happy overbearing response of the zionist state of Israel to the woeful situation in the mass prison camp that is Gaza.

Or, for that matter, the abhorrent actions of the similarly repressive al-Bashad regime in Syria.

But it does, perhaps, allow some small measure of perspective.

Which reminds this conflict is political as much as racial or religious; and that those pulling the strings will go - and are going - to any lengths to "prove" their legitimacy and win the world's sympathy.

Yes, that includes using children as human shields to protect rocket silos based in schools hospitals and shelters.

The UN is right to rail against Israel for targeting such facilities, but equally to demand Hamas stop using those facilities - as it has found two UN-run schools were so used - as military bases. Where, exactly, does the blame for "collateral casualties" then lie?

On the other hand, the automatic unjustified conclusion that the abduction and slaying of three Israeli boys in the West Bank was the work of Palestinian terrorists the trigger that started this latest round of tit-for-tat killing - may well mean some psychopathic Israeli paedophile remains at large. Using such convenient incidents to excuse force with extreme prejudice in Gaza is a very black mark against the zionist government.

One column cannot do more than reference the tip of this "hate-burg" of insanity; but how different might the Middle East as a whole look today if the Anglo-French "solution" for the Jews - in response to Hitler's holocaustic one of creating the state of Israel had never happened.

All it has done is transplant "the Jewish problem" to a desert locale - one where religious genocide is not so much an anomaly as a way of life.

That's the right of it.

Bruce Bisset is a freelance writer and poet.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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