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?
If the title of this article is vapid to the point of absurdity, that's because it is indeed a trite and possibly ludicrous way to describe the bloodshed in Gaza. Sadly, it's the truth, and the reality that both Hamas and Israel are to blame for the civilian deaths in Gaza is something neither side wants to admit.
There are so many stakeholders, not only in the Middle East but also in Europe and beyond, that would like to see an end to this madness in Gaza. The vital thing confronting us today is for the U.S. to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza and seek a viable and realistic political solution.
Though I surely did not become more conservative with age or my first paycheck, I found a few things that I do not want my tax dollars funding. Unless we stand up for our values and make an attempt to have some say in where our tax dollars are going, we are complicit in the very types of oppression to which we are ideologically opposed.