Israel/Palestine questions you were embarrassed to ask

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Gaza by the Numbers (so far)

28 – Number of people killed by Hamas rockets (2001-2014).

1,417- Number of Gaza residents killed in the three week war of 2009. (Most were children. 926 were civilians.)

13 – Number of Israelis killed in the three week war of 2009. (10 of those were by friendly fire.)

639 – Number of Gazans killed so far in the current Israeli ground invasion. (One fourth are children.)

31 – Israelis killed in this current Israeli ground invasion.

1967 – The year Israel seized Gaza from Egypt.

This is what is meant by proportionality.

The Thomistic understanding of what constituted a just war: “It is necessary that the response be commensurate to the evil; use of more violence than is strictly necessary would constitute an unjust war.”

Modern just war theory states: “The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms.”

Is it just to kill 400 children children for the acts of a few fanatics? Is this justice?

My heart breaks at all this senseless violence.

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The Good Samaritan

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’

Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

—Jesus, Luke 10

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Border apprehensions

Since tripling the number of border patrol and building a fence on the (southern) border, apprehensions are down dramatically.

US border apprehensions:
2000: 1,675,438
2005: 1,189,031
2006: 1,189,096
2007: 876,803
2008: 723,825
2009: 556,041
2010: 463,382
2013: 420,789

So, the recent increase of unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, legally seeking refuge (52,000 October 2013-July 2014) is in the midst of a larger decline in total border crossings.


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An unaccompanied child migrant was the first person in line on opening day of the new immigration station at Ellis Island.

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Paranoia on the border

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$3.7B supplemental budget request

Of the $3.7 billion being requested, $1.8 billion (about 49%) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — for refugees, not just for the unaccompanied minors, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. This will help the overcrowded border patrol and transitional facilities.

The rest would be split between several departments to tackle the issue on both sides of the border, including $1.6 billion to the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to boost law enforcement at the Southwest border and pay for additional immigration judge teams, among other things, and $300 million to the State Department to tackle the root causes of this crisis.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) would be given $15 million for legal representation. An additional $1.1 million would be given to DOJ for immigration litigation attorneys. $109 million is being requested to facilitate anti-smuggling investigative efforts.

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