Israeli bombings close to genocide
A 6-month peace treaty between Palestine and Israel was violated daily by Israeli troops who refused to let humanitarian aid into Gaza and refused to let Gazans travel outside their imprisoned territory. Finally, on Nov. 4, Israelis killed four Palestinians within Gaza. Hamas, the duly elected government of Palestine, responded by refusing to renew the peace treaty.
Headlines say, "Defiant Hamas hits Israel with rockets," and on the Opinion Page, "The Palestinian tilt toward self-destruction" with no mention of the 340 Palestinians who have been killed, the 1,400 injured, many of whom will die because Israel refused to let medical supplies into Gaza for months in spite of its agreement to do so. This is not Palestinian self-destruction; this is close to genocide. A ground invasion may be starting soon; we don't know because journalists are forbidden by Israel to get near Gaza. There is no place for civilians to go if Gaza City is evacuated. Gaza is a prison surrounded by Israeli fences, troops and, at sea, armed nets.
Young Israelis are demonstrating against the government's decision to kill their neighbors en masse. Many young Israelis are refusing to serve a military that occupies a foreign land (West Bank) and terrorizes another (Gaza). These young Israelis, along with groups such as Women In Black, recognize that Israel is on a "tilt toward self-destruction" if the dozens of violations of U.N. sanctions against Israel continue.
Christians have all but deserted Palestine; the ones left have little hope of a decent life. Tourists going to Israel do not see this; most tours do not lead to conversations with people in Ramallah, Gaza City or Bethlehem. Most American tours of Israel do not allow for discussions with Palestinian Christians.
Nov. 4 was a safe day for the Israeli military to kill Palestinians and provoke a response. It was a day United States elections would be filling the headlines all over the world. Now, Israeli militants are campaigning for election, and what better way than to blanket their citizens with fear of an impotent neighbor who attacks from afar with homemade rockets? And sometimes kills. Only 340-civilians-to-4-soldiers is unfair odds in any game I ever heard of.
Young sports star stirs old memories
I read a sports article in The Herald recently about all of the sports achievements of Stephon Gilmore. I am very proud of this young man for being an example of hard work and hitting the school books at the same time. Life is the same way. You have to be able to chew bubble gum and walk at the same time if you plan on getting anywhere in your future.
Stephon's athleticism runs in his blood. When I see him perform on the football field, it reminds me of his dad, Stevie. I and Stevie grew up together in York back in the 1970s and played Pop Warner Football and school ball together. I would go to Stevie's house and he would come to mine. Stevie was good at baseball, football, and basketball. On the York Pony League Baseball Team, which was for 13-year-olds, I started at first base, Stevie started at pitching, shortstop, and catching. Wow!
In Pop Warner Football, which is equivalent to GRAY-Y Football, Steve played running back for one team, and I played quarterback for another team. School ball, Stevie played quarterback and I played running back. Growing up playing sports, kids will have played several positions before they actually leveled off in high school to play one or two positions. No matter what the sport or position was that Stevie played, he played with focus, lightning speed, and with a passion to win.
Stephon's uncle, Tony Gilmore, was fast, too. He was a little older than Stevie and I, but he, too, possessed that speed. Stephon has a lot to be thankful for. If he wonders to himself sometimes where did he get that speed and athleticism, he doesn't have to look too far. Like the old saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It doesn't. It runs in the blood. When it came down to playing sports back in a time when kids didn't get much recognition for athletic performance, Stevie could go!