Comments, In Focus

Civilians, victims of occupation and retaliation

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has ethnic, religious and territorial overtones and compromises the early days of the UN’s creation and the reckless and rigged operation of the powers that sit on the Security Council.


Germán Ayala Osorio


I will not address the origin of the hostilities and the contextual location in the troubled region. I will focus on the defence that, in the form of justifications, appear in those who choose to support one of the sides, forgetting the victims that each side produces. The Western mass media and numerous tweeters and “experts” describe the Hamas group’s military action as a ruthless attack on civilians. And it was, according to the images circulating on the web. Those who read the facts in this way forget that the state of Israel has been occupying Palestinian territory for a long time and has built a huge wall that has divided Palestinian families. Moreover, the huge wall is accompanied by turnstiles for the control of those who have to pass through the structure every day.

It is a clear form of apartheid, which confirms the ethnic nature of the long-standing conflict. There are consistent exercises of symbolic, ethno-cultural and territorial violence that must be brought to the fore in order to go beyond the biased assessments that suggest that there are “good” and “bad” military attacks.

These elements are used by Hamas to justify the ferocious attack, which is nothing more than a retaliation for the historic territorial occupation, under the circumstances described above. In addition, there is the systematic violation of the rights of children and women by members of the Israeli army.

In other words, the greatest risks and consequences of the occupation and of Hamas’s responses to it are borne by civilians. And as a civilian, I cannot support any armed side, for obvious reasons. But my refusal is also because by supporting the Israeli army or the Hamas militias, I would be legitimising the warlords (arms manufacturers and traders) who profit from this and other conflicts.

The armed conflict between Hamas and the Israeli army is, like the internal armed conflict in Colombia, a valuable market for arms and equipment manufacturers. The rest are justifications that only serve to confirm that we are a vicious species from which the worst can always be expected.

Then comes the fierce response of the Israeli government: it declares a state of war against the “terrorist” group Hamas, an announcement that highlights the old asymmetrical relationship between a powerful Israeli army, supported by the United States and several European countries, against an armed group that does not operate as Israel’s military forces do. In its act of retaliation, Israel also kills civilians (Palestinians) and most likely, like Hamas, captures members of the civilian population, to use them as booty in the event of a ceasefire, with a view to a humanitarian exchange.

So, before defending one of the opposing sides, think about who benefits economically from the hostilities and then, if you are a civilian like me, worry about the civilian victims that each side is interested in producing, because both sides think like warriors, who care little about the lives of others because they follow orders (perhaps divine, from the commander or leader).

Addendum 1: Hamas and the State of Israel practise terrorism, in the sense that both attack civilian targets and generate fear, pain and terror in the civilian population.

Addendum 2: In the midst of wars and after armistices, very few call for the closure of arms factories and the revision of religious beliefs, when churches and religions, hand in hand with tanks and guns, justify armed conflicts and the killing of civilians.

Addendum 3: There will be peace in the world when religions, with all their gods, are outlawed and the arms factories are closed down.

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: Pixabay

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *