I Oppose Both Killing Of Children And Lawbreaking By Students

By John J. Duncan Jr.

Regular readers of my column know that I have been extremely saddened by the killing of thousands of little Palestinian children with Israeli bombs.

Possibly even worse is the slow death of so many little children by Israel’s very severe, very cruel limitations to food, water and medicines allowed into Gaza.

Also inhumane is forcing several thousand Palestinian women to have their babies under the worst possible conditions and the destruction of most Palestinian homes with many people of all ages still buried under the rubble.

Having written all the above in addition to my earlier columns on this war, it is clear that I have felt and still feel very sorry for what the Palestinian people have gone through for the last seven months.

But I must add that I in no way support or even condone spoiled brat students who have protested Israel’s actions in the most rude, obnoxious and, at times even unlawful, ways.

These kids, in their screaming immaturity, have hurt the very cause for which they claimed to be fighting. They have done this at exactly the wrong time, just when a big majority of people all across the world, and even in the U.S., were starting to sympathize with the Palestinians.

Israel and its supporters have worked over the years to make any criticism of Israel to be called antisemitic. This is so false. Palestinians are Semitic people, too.

However, even Senator Charles Schumer, Israel’s number 1 defender in Congress, said in a speech in the U.S. Senate on November 14 that criticism of Israel’s action in this war was not antisemitic.

Most people who have spoken out on this war do not have an antisemitic bone in their bodies. They simply have been sickened by the killing and starvation of little children and the cruel treatment of the Palestinian people, over 95% of whom had nothing to do with Hamas.

There is a right way and a wrong way to protest something. The Hamas militants were very wrong to do many of the terrible things they did last October 7.

The belligerent, hateful students on college campuses across the country have been wrong in the arrogant, fanatical way they have protested. Some, with warped minds, have even felt heroic when they were arrested.

Our Founding Fathers thought freedom of speech was so important they made it the first amendment to our Constitution. No patriotic American should ever criticize anyone for making a peaceful protest, as long as they do not damage property or interfere with other people’s freedom of movement.

Screaming at people in hateful, rude or obscene ways is not peaceful protest.

Israel certainly has a right to defend itself. But indiscriminately bombing a refugee camp filled with 500 innocent men, women and children to get one Hamas member is going too far. Bombing hospitals is going too far. Destroying 80% of Palestinian homes is going too far.

The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs says, “Just War Theory presumes that there are legitimate uses of war, but also sets moral boundaries on the waging of war.”

Bellevue College, in a study on the Principles of Just War, said among other things, “The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered.”

The study adds: “The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war.”

The U.S., not being a barbaric nation, subscribes to Just War Theory. Israel has far exceeded the moral boundaries of Just War in its war against Gaza.

The land around Israel was called Palestine for at least hundreds of years before Christ. According to Google, “In 1948 only eight percent of Palestine was owned by Jewish individuals and concerns. The 1948-1949 armistice gave Israel control over 77.4 percent of all land.”

After the 1948 war, some 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes. Since then, most Palestinians have been limited to living in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem under conditions that have often been called “open air prison camps.”

The terrible treatment of Palestinians by Israel for the last 76 years certainly does not justify Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7, but it is what led to it.

The tremendous power and influence of the Israel Lobby in the U.S. has given it control over our foreign policy in the Middle East. This has created great resentment toward us from most other countries in that region and has made the U.S. unable to be a broker for peace there.

Ethnic cleansing and genocide are both official international crimes. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel is a crime to which the U.S. should not be a partner.