The individual stories are tragically too many to recount in one short article. Those lucky enough to survive this latest assault on Gaza have returned to rubble; the loss of loved ones compounded by the destruction of homes, family heirlooms, photographs and memories. Israel has the power to put an end to its occupation of Palestinian land. Only then can Palestinians and Israelis live side by side in peace and security.
We need real leadership now in both Israel and Palestine, leaders who will not just stammer and blabber, but who will put forth courageous and realistic plans for peace, rather than simply blame the other side and go on preparing for the next war.
Confronting today's Israel and demanding it change is not a rejection of Judaism but the most profound manifestation of it.
Returning Gaza to the Stone Age has not stopped Hamas, the Islamist militia in control of the territory, from inflicting significant political and psychological damage on Israel.
Wars inevitably spark change. That is no truer than in the war in Gaza, no matter what Hamas and Israel say.
Given the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas, I decided to reconnect by phone with some of the people I talked with a year ago. We discussed the dangers they face and the efforts they make to stay safe during the fighting.
As responsible citizens we must demand that our government exercise all influence to bring the Israeli government to honest, productive negotiations with the Palestinian unity government, to achieve lasting justice upon which an enduring peace, security, and prosperity can be achieved by all.
I write this with great sorrow for civilians hurt on both sides. Sorrow for our soldiers who have fallen in this operation, and sorrow for the future of my country and the entire region. I know that as I write, soldiers like me have fired shells into Gaza. They had no way of knowing who or what they would hit. Faced with so many innocent casualties, it is time for us to state very clearly: this use of artillery fire is a deadly game of Russian roulette. The statistics, on which such firepower relies, mean that in densely populated areas such as Gaza, civilians will inevitably be hit as well. The IDF knows this, and as long as it continues to use such weaponry, it will be hard to believe when it claims to be minimizing civilian deaths. As a former soldier and an Israeli citizen, I feel compelled to ask today: have we not crossed a line?
It's hard to shake away the utterly depressing feeling that comes with news coverage these days. IDF and Hamas are at it again, a vicious cycle of violence, but this time it feels much more intense. While war rages on the ground in Gaza and across Israeli skies, there's an all-out information war unraveling in social networked spaces.
Ironically, there is another transatlantic transport with the name 'St. Louis' whose story is one of the nadirs of America's storied past. Though little known, perhaps no other moment since the Emancipation Proclamation might well have burdened America's conscience as much.
Beyond any legal analysis and moral speeches, the reality is that what is taking place right now is a massacre.
Contrary to what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes, the main existential threat facing the country is not a nuclear-armed Iran. The real peril is to be found at home: the corrosive effect of the Palestinian problem on Israel's international standing. The devastation caused by Israel's periodic asymmetrical confrontations, combined with the continuing occupation of Palestinian lands and the ever-growing expansion of settlements, has fueled a growing campaign to undermine Israel's legitimacy.
At 11:50 on Monday morning a scrum of passengers jockeying to board United Airlines Flight 85 from Tel Aviv to Newark fell silent when a warning echoed in Hebrew and Arabic through Ben Gurion Airport.
A long, caged walkway leading from the last Hamas checkpoint to the Israeli border compound gives the feeling that you're entering a maximum security prison. As I was walking, wearing a flak jacket and carrying all my gear, I could hear the booms of Israeli strikes, fired from close by, and the sounds of outgoing Hamas rockets aimed at where I was heading.
Headless bodies. Screaming children. Entire neighborhoods fleeing on foot. The unmistakable sounds of Hamas rockets and the booms of Israeli strikes. Here's a look at what I've witnessed this week in Gaza.
"It's that place where all the rockets are falling," I would tell my friends about the embattled southern Israeli town near Gaza.