Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Gaza War

And so it continues. After months of attacks Israel strikes back hard, leading to lots of damage and lots of deaths. Lots of folks immediately condemning Israel (the usual ones) and lots of others immediately stating support for Israel (the same ones as always).

I have seen complaints that the US media is not really covering this story and that this somehow shows some sort of media pro-Israel bias. While I think most Americans tend to be pro-Israel, Americans simply are not that interested in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis anymore. It is like a T.V. soap opera -- no beginning, no end, but the same characters and the same story lines. "Mideast in Crisis" is a headline the newspapers should have a macro for.

There seems no end to this ongoing crisis.

But at some point, Israel has to ask if a bunch of dead Palestinian kids (as Hamas has no compunction about putting their installations in the middle of civilian areas) is worth it. Hamas is happy right now with Israel's response. Hezbollah will now launch their new war and the whole things starts again.

I mean, Israel's reaction is understandable -- if someone keeps pinching you, then you turn around and punch them in the face and kick them once or twice, it is understandable. Also, even with regards to the blockade, Hamas was trying to smuggle in weapons. Then there were the elections. Some argue that it was stupid to allow the Palestinians to have elections (the US government insisted on them). But what use would have a Fatah negotiated peace been worth if Hamas really had the majority in Gaza.

So should Americans really care? This guy says we should. But I have difficulty in getting any hopes up.

I do not know the answer. Maybe the best we can hope for is an acceptable level of violence, sort of what the British hoped for in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Or maybe we can hope that the Palestinians will find a Michael Collins, someone who recognizes that violence is only a means to an end and is willing to accept 3/4s of a loaf, so they can get a real country.

But I am not getting my hopes up.

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