BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
July 24, 2014
This week, the UN school in Gaza felt the impact of bombing that has become the daily routine since the beginning of the current Palestinian Israeli conflict. Innocent children seeking shelter in the school were killed when shells believed fired by Israel, landed in classrooms occupied by youths fleeing the carnage and seeking refuge in a place they thought would be the safest.
When asked about the killings, Israeli Military Defense spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner denied the allegations and blamed the incident on Hamas for hiding rockets in schools, while he said investigation is ongoing to find what happened and who is responsible for killing the innocent children. Amid such stories is the report this week that about 750 Americans of dual Israeli citizenship are fighting along with the Israeli Defense Forces in the attack on Gaza.
They are American youths who join what is known as a “lone Soldier” a citizen from another country who joins the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Groups from within and outside Israel that provide funds and help facilitate Americans’ entry into the IDF support them. Members believe they’re fighting back against those who think Israel and the Jewish people should not exist. In their determination to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust, they’re taking arms in the defense of Israel against what they dubbed “Arab hatred of Jews.”
Ironically, the U.S. government did not oppose those joining the IDF, despite fear that such move helps to escalate the conflict. Many are now questioning the double standards and credibility of the United States as an honest and fair peace-broker. The U.S. government is known to have a zero tolerance on American youths joining or participating in foreign wars but yet, it has become willfully blind to the grave danger of having American youths take part in the bombing of Gaza and killing of innocent civilians.
American-Arab youths who have gone on to fight in what they called the “Defense of Islam and Palestinian Freedom,” are unquestionably labeled “Terrorists.” On arrival back to U.S. soil they’re arrested and jailed for taking arms and engaging in acts of terror. However, Israeli-Americans who choose to bear arms in defense of Israel, come home to hero’s welcome, they enjoy impunity and are seen as protector of the Jewish State.
The interest level of Americans bearing arms for Israel, have increased since beginning of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. So far, no one is questioning a recruit process that in a way is helping to fuel ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or the loyalty of such men to the United States. The U.S. Military is stretched thin and youths fighting abroad can show their loyalty by joining U.S. forces and not engage in a preventable war that so far, has led to the killing of innocent civilians.
The U.S. government must play the role of a trustworthy negotiator or else it risks damaging its role as a peacemaker in the Arab-Israeli conflict. There is a need to curb the recruit of American men by Israel and not turn a blind eye. Israel has the right of self-defense but this cannot be achieved by mercenaries. The nation is strong with enough soldiers and munitions to protect its territories and therefore, needs no foreign-born soldiers.
Current recruit move will achieve nothing but help fuel already tense situation. The U.S. government must apply in this case, the same approach to dealing with American youths who fight in places like Somalia, Syria, Yemen and other conflict zones or else, it won’t be long before the nation begins to deal with cases of Palestinian-American youths signing to join Hamas as mercenaries against Israel.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at http://www.amazon.com/author/adeyemioshunrinade. Follow on Twitter @san0670.