I cannot imagine what it is like to live in fear of your life, but whatever the mismatch between Hamas Rockets and Israeli Gunships, the truth is that both kill, both terrorise. And this is what the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships both like to remind their populations of as each seek to bolster their own power through this most profound exploitation of fear. Each faction seeks to consolidate political positions erected on foundations fashioned from the bodies of dead Palestinians and Israelis, dead Muslims and Jews. Neither group of politicians can can claim a monopoly on victimhood nor paint the other as sole perpetrators. Both are responsible for callously exploiting the deaths of their own people just as much as both are responsible for causing the deaths of their victims. Both regimes are terrorists, not only for the suffering they inflict on the other, but also for the fear they promote amongst their own.
This must stop. The international community has the ability to intervene. It could create safe havens and it could impose no fly zones. It could protect both populations and meanwhile demand that their leaders come to the table and bring an end to the violence. We must call on all parties and all governments to stop offering unilateral support to either side and to stop allowing leaders who willingly sacrifice the lives of their own people at the altar of personal ambition and power seeking, the cloak of international respectability. Nor are calls for restraint or for some temporary truce sufficient. There must be a permanent peace and that can only come if neither side has the capacity to resort to arms.
Both peoples deserve peace, their leaders preach war. Only the international community has the power to force them to stop. We, the people, must call on our leaders to do so, and to stop supporting the terrorism of either side.