February 20, 2008

From the Washington Post:
Rocketing Toward War -- by Richard Cohen
A visit to the place where the next Middle East war will probably begin
SDEROT, Israel -- Rockets launched from the nearby Gaza Strip fall here almost daily. These Qassams are crude devices that hardly ever kill people, although they have, and hardly ever wound anyone, although recently a boy lost part of a leg. They hit with unpredictable regularity, taking a roof here, a piece of a wall there and demolishing the peace of mind of every resident. Bit by bit, Sderot is going crazy.

The next Middle East war may start over Sderot. To many Israelis, the daily rain of Qassam rockets is reason enough to go back into Gaza and eradicate the rocket-makers, the rocket launchers and the entire Hamas leadership that now runs Gaza. The call for action superficially makes a certain amount of sense. But memory rebukes: Didn't Israel just pull out of Gaza?

Yes, it did. It withdrew most of its military and all of its settlements and turned the wretched area, populated by 1.2 million mostly poor Palestinian refugees, over to the moderate Palestinian Authority. Then the PA lost an election to Hamas and the militants have been in charge ever since, permitting the incessant rocketing of Sderot and its environs. The Qassams are lofted over the high border wall, and whether they hit a school or a hospital or a cat basking in the sun is of no concern to Hamas.
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It is so easy to demonize Israel for it's heavy handed policies against the Palestinians. I've done my share of that myself, recently. But there are almost always at least two sides to any story concerning Israel.

8 comments:

TomCat said...

The basis on which I tend to blame Israel, at least in part, for this situation, along with Bush and the GOP, is for marginalizing Hamas as though they did not exist. When Hamas won the election, they asked to be included in negotiations and were rebuffed. The one best way to ensure that enemies remain enemies is to refuse to talk to them. That said, I disapprove of Hamas' tactics.

an average patriot said...

It is hard to say where it will blow next but thanks to Bush the entire middle east will be embroiled then this will really get going. Today Palestine suggested it might declare its idependence and have a security force like Kosovo. Bush has instigated all of this and it is just beginning to snowball.

two crows said...

hey, TC--
yeah. Hamas has repeatedly said it wants to push all Israelis into the sea. now that it's starting to unbend, Israel refuses to talk.
just as has happened for 3000+ years, no one is willing to give an inch. and so it escalates.

two crows said...

hi, AAP--
just as Bush enjoyed playing with firecrackers and frogs when he was a boy, he still likes playing with explosives.
and now human lives are on the line.

an average patriot said...

He is a damn idiot and could care less how obvious his war mongering and world destructive new order is. Getting his way is all that matters.

two crows said...

'Getting his way is all that matters.'

yeah, AAP--
as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning, the Israeli/Hamas situation and the end of the Constitution as we knew it: GW's getting his way --

FranIAm said...

This is a topic of great personal importance and interest to me.

I have been to Israel twice and I shall return. I fully support its right to exist but then... I must add, at what cost?

This is a story that is old and complex and yet very simple as well.

One day I will find the courage and the strength to write more about my time in that country and my on-going argument with my very Zionist cousin who lives there.

I do not support the actions of Hamas or the militant factions of any ilk.

However there are two sides of the story and they both have issues.

To this I point attention towards what is now known among Palestinians as al-Naqba.

I could drone on and on and on but I will not. I will however recommend a great book that can shed a lot of insight on the topic.

That book is The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan.

This is a very challenging matter in Israel.

However, in the end I must say that Israel is Goliath and Gaza is David.

That does matter. In the end, my sad personal experience is that Israel has a big "f*ck you" attitude and that will never solve things.

Someone has to stop first and maybe it has to be the bigger, stronger party.

Israel loves to claim the victim role, but there are many issues with that.

I say what I say with respect and with a great desire for peace in that part of the world.

an average patriot said...

franIam
I am afraid this is just the beginning of the end for Israel. I have some very good Jewish American friends who have led the peace movement and other liberal movements here in America for 65 years.
However I am afraid that when Bush diverted from Afghanistan to get into the middle east via Iraq to help Israel form their security zone and their new middle east order it was the beginning of the end for Israel and any semblance of middle east or world order.