The war in Gaza is already playing out along old battle lines — have we learned nothing from decades of conflict?

by James Zogby, Arab American Institute

It has been horrifying to watch this most recent iteration of wanton violence in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. But it should not have been unexpected. What can also now be expected is that the horrific murders carried out by Hamas on day one will be more than matched by Israel as it proceeds to use its massive military power to massacre thousands of captive Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.

What is also par for the course is that the US, instead of playing the role of the adult in the room, has once again reduced itself to being a cheerleader and coat-holder for one side, enabling and supporting Israel’s escalation of violence. In this regard, it was shocking to note that the State Department deleted two of its initial statements calling for restraint and protection of civilians, changing them to statements offering Israel our full support.

gaza rubble after 2021 attacks by Israeli forces

It’s distressing to see this nightmare unfolding precisely because we’ve been down this same road so many times before and, by now, should know exactly where it leads. It takes us back to where we began.

After the dust has settled and the tears have dried, other than having thousands of dead to mourn and bury, we’ll be right back to where we were when it started. The one change will be that hardliners on all sides will have gained support – with no lessons learned – thus sowing the seeds for another round of violence, at some indeterminate point in the future.

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