A Yazidi girl, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, rests at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, Iraq on August 13, 2014. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)
Frightened Yezidi families aboard an Iraqi air force rescue helicopter in Sinjar Mountains, Iraq on Aug. 12, 2014. (Moises Saman/Magnum for TIME)
Yezidi women stranded in the Sinjar Mountains wait for the arrival of a rescue helicopter, Iraq on Aug. 12, 2014. (Moises Saman/Magnum for TIME)
A Palestinian looks at the heavy destruction in Al Shaaf neighbourhood in Gaza City on Aug. 11, 2014. (Alessio Romenzi for TIME)
A Palestinian youth wraps a bandolier of spent bullets, left by the Israeli army, near his destroyed home in Beit Hanoun on Aug. 11, 2014. (Hatem Moussa/AP)
But Hamas… —
In conversations about Gaza, I have heard many thoughtful people in the Jewish community lament the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza but then say, “But Hamas…,” as if that were the heart of the problem. I’d like to suggest that, when we have these conversations about Hamas and Israel’s current bombing campaign, we begin with the necessary context and historical perspective.
Re: The Nakba
1. To create the Jewish state, the Zionist movement destroyed more than 400 Palestinians villages and expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land. Palestinians who remained in what became Israel were relegated to second-class citizenship, had much of their property confiscated, and, to this day, have fewer rights than Jewish Israeli citizens.
Re: The 1967 Occupation
2. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and still occupies them until this day.
Re: Settlement expansion; the apartheid wall; and the siege of Gaza
3. Over the past 47 years of occupation, Israel has illegally confiscated more and more Palestinian land; built an apartheid wall; systematically denied Palestinians basic human and civil rights and engaged in state-sponsored violence; and forced the Palestinians in Gaza to live in appalling conditions that make it increasingly impossible to survive. Israel’s latest bombing campaign, Operation Protective Edge, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, at least 450 of whom are children, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more.
If those of us in the Jewish community who are committed to justice begin from these facts, I think it would become clearer – regardless of who the Palestinian leadership is – that the underlying problem really is the denial of freedom and basic human rights to millions of people, for decades. And, as a community, it should also become clearer where priorities need to be in order to have any integrity on this issue: addressing the Nakba of 1948 and the responsibility for the Nakba head-on – including the right of return for refugees; ending the occupation; ending the siege on Gaza; and recognizing the right to full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.
— Donna Nevel
This is how life in Gaza has changed — as seen through Instagram.
Ibrahim Mohammad al-Toum, 85, poses in his home that he says has been bombed three times in six years by the Israeli army, in Gaza City on August 11, 2014. A farmer of oranges and lemons, his house in northern Gaza City has been bombed in each of the three Israeli-Palestinian conflicts since 2008. ”Why did they do it? Why? It is unfair, unfair! I am a peaceful man!” he said, sitting on the mattress in the schoolroom, surrounded by members of his extended family. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)
A Palestinian sleeps on the rubble of his home in Beit Hanoun on Aug. 11, 2014. (Hatem Moussa/AP)
Palestinians gather around the remains of a mosque, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 11, 2014. (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
A group of Myanmar rice-field workers cover themselves in plastic sheets as monsoon rain pour down in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on August 11, 2014. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)
A girl hawks groundnuts arranged on a tray along a road in Nigeria’s southwest city of Osogbo on August 11, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)