- - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

As long as the United Nations is counting the dead, here are some tallies: In Libya, more than 30,000 have been killed; in Egypt, more than 1,000; in Iraq over the past 15 months, there have been 10,500 killed; and in Syria, the granddaddy of them all, 160,000 have been killed. Many of these have been civilians.

On to Gaza, where more than 1,000 Gazans have been killed. Why is it so urgent for Israel to stop, but not as urgent for the other conflicts to end? One thousand doesn’t even come close to Syria’s death toll. Let’s see how it differs: Israel is a country with a military, Gaza is a territory with “freedom fighters,” or Hamas terrorists. This is not a civil war; it is a war. Gazans have no bomb shelters, only tunnels. Gazans fire rockets at civilians. Israel targets terrorists, not civilians. Gazans are dying because of Hamas forcing them to stay where Israel says it is going to bomb. Israelis live because of the Iron Dome and bomb shelters. Probably the most important reason for the urgency is the fact that in all the other conflicts in the region, Arabs are killing Arabs. I guess that’s acceptable.

Would the Gazans live longer without Hamas forcing them to die? Would they have better infrastructure if the cement, tools and electric wiring were not used to build tunnels but were instead used to build housing, schools and hospitals? Would there be more food, medicine and trade if Hamas did not smuggle weapons? Would Gazans’ lives be better overall without Hamas? The answer is yes. The world and the Gazans should be helping Israel rid the world of Hamas instead of asking it to stop fighting.

STEVEN PINSON

Baltimore