LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Weeks ago, I approached a daring young man at the local gym. Unmindful to any possible looks of contempt, he calmly finished his last set before wiping his brow on a black t-shirt with glossy text printed at the center.
Dodging uninformed teens and seemingly distanced adults, I gave the man a nod of approval before asking about his shirt’s origins.
“Custom made,” he firmly replied.
I contemplated probing for more details on the shirt, excitement stemming from the possibilities of having my own. Yet, my personal, eclectic awareness as an Agnostic, liberally-inclined Kentucky-raised Asian-American quickly stifled any pursuits I had in mind: a decision, I have come to regret.
Just yesterday, minutes after an Israel-declared unilateral cease-fire in Gaza, the fatalities of 1400+ Palestinian civilians have incremented–plus one. It is reported that the Israeli Air Force has taken the life of one more innocent being after an air strike occurred in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City during yesterday’s supposed cease-fire.
The life of an eight-year-old girl.
The self-declared ceasefire, intended to be a seven-hour “humanitarian window,” was the eighth temporary pause amidst this global crisis. Disgustingly fitting, right?
The air strike, featuring not one, but two Israeli missiles, instantly leveled a house, leaving the nameless child and 29 wounded others in mounted debris–including the child’s one-year old sister. Additionally, Palestinian officials have reported that at least 20 Gazans have been killed just yesterday morning alone.
This attack marks a new ethically horrid low for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his troops, coming just right after the third Israeli strike on a United Nations School on Sunday that killed 10 people and injured dozens of others.
United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon describes these incidents as “moral outrage and a criminal act.” He pleads to end “this madness.” His words are severely understated, considering that the UN warned the Israeli army 33 times that the school was sheltering defenseless civilians.
Israel, indeed, may be winning the battle, but it is certainly losing the war as remaining strands of positive global perception towards the inhabitants of the “Promised Land” quickly diminish. Mr. Netanyahu needs to realize the future consequences on Israel as his ordered bloodshed continues. His support from the consciously informed Western world depends on it.
Meanwhile, our friends at Fox News graciously report headlines reading “Israeli soldier reportedly shot near closing of Gaza cease-fire window.” Charmingly focused.
As of now, the Palestine death toll resulting from conflicts since July 8th sits around 1,834 people – 80% of whom are civilians and 20% of whom are children. On the other hand, Israeli numbers show major discrepancies: 64 of Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since July 8th.
There is hope.
An update to the cease(less)-fire situation occurred late afternoon yesterday (Monday), as Egypt helped usher in a 72-hour cease-fire that would take effect Tuesday morning.
It seems that both sides are ready for the destructive fire to end. Hamas and Islamic Jihad promptly accepted a little changed Egyptian proposal–one that was previously rejected.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner of Israel assured that Israeli ground troops would be completely withdrawn from Gaza by 8 a.m. today, though the state “would continue to maintain defensive positions from the air, from the coast, and from the ground, but outside the Gaza Strip.”
Hamas may be classified as a terrorist organization, but the women and children that it provides a voice for are not. Obama, who swiftly signed a $225 million bill in emergency aid for Israel’s Iron Dome system on Monday, must take harsher action.
The Audacity of Hesitation, Mr. Obama, is not commendable.
Spilling into Hollywood, actor Jon Voight recently accused fellow colleagues Javier Bardem and Penelopé Cruz of ‘inciting anti-Semitism,’ after they released an open letter condemning Israel’s genocidal acts.
Well, Mr. Voight.
What (more importantly, who) do you define as ‘inciting’ anti-humanitarianism?
For the sake of global peace and stability, let us pray (to both He and Allah) that society can adopt a new saying:
“Ninth time’s the charm.”
Image Credit: “Terror Tunnel Found in Gaza.” Flickr: Creative Commons. Flickr, n.d. Web. 5 Aug. 2014. <https://flic.kr/p/ocCudP>.