2014-07-22    Gaza a massacre like Amritsar?


A "massacre" is defined as "the indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of many people". One of the most shameful episodes in British history was the 1919 Amritsar massacre in British-occupied India, when soldiers fired their guns on a peaceful, unarmed crowd of civilians, killing many hundreds.

Gaza is a Palestinian territory with a population of almost two million. A United Nations report says that Israel remains an occupying power in respect of Gaza by means of its control over Gaza’s external borders, airspace, territorial waters, population registry, tax revenues and governmental functions. The situation is not unlike British control of India one hundred years ago.

In the past few weeks, more than 300 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed in Israel's attack on Gaza. On July 16, four boys were massacred while playing on a beach.  Israel justifies its attack on Gaza as a way of stopping Palestinian rockets from being launched at Israel.

Israel has a right to exist. But so does Palestine. The basic cause of the on-going conflict is Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and great injustice to the Palestinian people. May people of wisdom and peace on both sides of the conflict soon bring about an end to the occupation. May there one day be a Middle East Union, like the European Union, in which all the peoples of the region can live in peace.