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30 Jul, 2014

Gaza, Israel and the company we keep – Al Jazeera Blogs

So I got into it with an old friend from high school days over Gaza and Israel.

I’ll call her Judy. She’s Jewish and I’m not.

Typically we see eye to eye on most issues, geo-political and social. We still swap music, doing online today what we did as students with cassettes and vinyl.

But since I started covering the Middle East 20 years ago, our friendship has been occasionally strained. And this latest chapter in Gaza, with its mounting casualties on the Palestinian side, including all those children, is the latest example of that.

I’ve tried to figure out how my Jewish friends, and any supporter of Israel who has a brain, can back this. Is it out of loyalty or a sense of duty? Are they blind to the pictures; in denial over the numbers?

How can they continue to defend what I, and so many others, see as a clear case of collective punishment against a civilian population? And, therefore, a war crime.

Many supporters of Israel dismiss my views as a simple by-product of my job at Al Jazeera. They can conveniently write me off as a tool of Qatar (even though every trip I have ever made to cover Israel and Palestine, where my views took shape, came when I worked for ABC News, a network not known for being editorially tough on the Jewish state).

Read the rest: Gaza, Israel and the company we keep – Al Jazeera Blogs.