Monday, January 12, 2009

Endless Tragedy

I have thus far written nothing concerning the current merciless and brutal siege of the Palestinians of Gaza. I must first proclaim emphatically, that I loudly condemn both the heavy handed, inhuman, and seemingly indiscriminate aggression of Israel, as well as the intentional targeting of civilian areas by Hamas and its homemade terror rockets. No party has any moral edge in the current crisis, and it is ridiculous to suggest that determining "who started it" in any way would justify any of the horrors that either side has thus inflicted on the other, when in the form of creating fear and terror, or spilling the blood of hundreds.

I do not want to spend this most somber of occasions to wax on the merits of resistance, or to attempt to define what is right and wrong, a particularly vexing proposition given a conflict on which madness seems to preside on both sides.

What I will say is that Israel cannot possibly "win." There is no way that Hamas will be completely destroyed. It may be wounded, set back, crippled, bu not destroyed. And its very survival after such an onslaught will be viewed as nothing less than catastrophic failure for Israel. Such was the case with Hizbollah. indeed, hamas will survive, and another generation of Palestinian will be fueled by the blood of their kinsmen to resist the occupation at any cost, and by any means.

Israel's best hope is for a cease fire. By taking the position that a cease fire is the only acceptable outcome, they allow for the possibility of negotiating with Hamas (and don't tell me Hamas doesn't negotiate, they have been in proxy negotiations with Israel since they came to power). Only after some level of detente, no matter how minor, can Hamas' failing as an organization become apparent to the Palestinians at large.

For as long as the lives of Palestinians are defined by war, they will look to warriors to protect them and fight on their behalf. Anyone would. Do not thing this is some kind of pathology unique to the Palestinian. It is in fact the natural reaction of any embattled people.

If Israel has any hope of defeating Hamas, it must give the Palestinians a chance to demand more than self-defence from its leaders.

God bless us all . . .

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