Following the horrific Mumbai terror attacks (around 200 dead and several hundred
injured), that was staged by Pakistani based extremists, the Indian public and government
reacted with concern and conviction tempered with caution – the hallmarks of a civilized
society that was going to ensure justice was served while at the same time not bent
on the blind and barbaric bombardment of the whole of Pakistan. The lone surviving
Pakistani gunman was put on trial and India has demanded Pakistani cooperation in
closing down the operations of the militant extremists.
Following a few rocket attacks from Gaza that killed three Israeli civilians and
a soldier and damaged a couple of buildings, the Israeli Defense Forces, at the command
of the Israeli regime, launched an all out aerial bombardment of Gaza followed by
a ground assault with tanks and armored vehicles. At the end of the Israeli rampage,
the resulting Palestinian death toll was around two thousand civilians killed (including
many children and women) and widespread destruction of hundreds of buildings, major
infrastructure, utilities, schools and hospitals. The Israeli government also blockaded
Gaza preventing food supplies and medical aid for several days. The Palestinians
in Gaza are still facing dire economic and medical hardship due to the unrelenting
pressure from the rightwing Israeli government. More than thirty one Palestinian
children (at last count) had been killed by additional IDF aerial missile strikes.
Palestinians continue to be forcibly ejected from their homes in Jerusalem while
Israeli settlements continually expand into Palestinian lands.
In this context, a couple of Mahatma Gandhi’s quotes are very appropriate: “Peace
will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed
nations in the face of odds.” and “The Roots of Violence: …Politics without principles”.