After Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis in an attack at the Gaza border over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to respond with unprecedented force. That meant a wave of airstrikes over Gaza, killing more than 1,100 Palestians, reported the Gaza Health Ministry. Israeli forces are preparing a ground invasion as well.
Israel is known for having one of the world’s most powerful militaries — supported by billions of U.S. dollars annually. So how was Hamas able to penetrate the robust defense system?
President Biden said that the U.S. will offer whatever Israel needs to care for its citizens and defend itself. Biden’s message of support also came with a reminder about how democracies should act, even in self-defense.
For example, Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s statement that Gaza would be cut off from food, water, and power would be a war crime, Juliette Kayyem tells KCRW. She chairs the homeland security program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Meanwhile, a number of universities in the U.S. renounced public statements by student groups that blamed Israel for the attacks. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been a thorny conversation topic. Will our ability to discuss tense political issues survive the rush to make a point or be the loudest in the room?
So far, outsized attention on extreme responses are taking away from productive conversations about the conflict, this week’s LRC panelists say.