“It's very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders to express their views, to ascertain what flexibility they have, to try to induce them to stop all attacks against innocent civilians in Israel and to cooperate with the Fatah as a group that unites the Palestinians…There's no doubt in anyone's mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbours, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process.”
Seems fair, right? Obama responded to Carter’s logic by telling a group of Jewish leaders:
“We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction…We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements."
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, of course, have issued this statement condemning the attacks and asking people take action.
As of this writing, Israeli Air Force attacks today on the occupied Gaza Strip killed an estimated 200 or more people and injured hundreds more. These Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life.
While the scope of civilian casualties in today's attacks is not yet clear, it is unmistakable that Israel carried out these attacks with F16 fighter jets and missiles provided by the taxpayers of this country. From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16's. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and "bunker buster" missiles.
In short, Israel's lethal attack today on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the active military and political support of the United States. Therefore, we need to take action to protest this attack and demand an immediate cease-fire.
As the situation worsens, as the attacks continue, more will be reported by OpEdNews. In the meantime, consider why Hamas is firing rockets. It may look like terrorism, but one man's terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The only way Israel’s actions can be considered self-defense is if we are certain Hamas is not employing violence because it wishes to attain freedom from Israel's actions, which recently have included a vicious blockade against Palestinians.
Also, it may be worth asking this question: Exactly what Hanukkah tradition involves waging violent conflict?