Since Veterans For Peace submitted to the Bellingham City Council a resolution opposing the violence in Gaza and the targeting of civilians, casualties on both sides have soared. And here at home Veterans For Peace members have been engaged in a different conflict, one with detractors seeking to stifle debate by marginalizing those who empathize with the plight of civilians trapped in gales of shrapnel in the world's largest open-air prison. Worse yet, attempts to trump dialogue with the anti-Semitic playing card are commonplace on the street and in the media.
It's easy enough to assert that religious or political Zionists are the real anti-Semites by citing End Times scripture or the rising tide of global anti-Semitism resulting from what I believe to be disproportionate retribution on Gaza by Israeli forces, but it's far from tactical. Meanwhile, labeling dissenters of the ongoing slaughter of innocents under siege as enemies of Israel or Zionists is a non-sequitur.
Wars have nothing to do with religion in this context, but rather land and people. People, not religions, are being attacked in Gaza - Muslims, Christians, thousands of children. By the occupying nation's own admission targeting civilians is a measured response. And the fact that Israel calls itself a Jewish state doesn't exempt it from international law; much less justify suppressing dissent or empathy for the dying - on both sides.