"If rape is inevitable lie down and enjoy it." – Confucius.
The Israel versus Palestine military and political saga continues with the now familiar Israeli bombing raids killing innocent civilians, Hamas militants and destroying what little infrastructure that still exists in the Gaza Strip. As we close 2008, the world looks on at Israeli "Shock and Awe" terror tactics fine-tuned and taught to them by Big Brother America who practiced them in Iraq. Yet, Big Brother says without reservation that Israel has a right to defend itself as if Palestinians do not. And the access that Israel has to the international media has allowed it to demonize the Palestinians while cloaking its actions with President George Bush's "war on terror."
For a state that was born in terror; a state whose terror organizations Irgun and Haganah, bombed, assassinated, and carried out extra-judicial murders and chased in 1949 some 700,000 Palestinians off their land in the same manner that white Europeans in America slaughtered and stole Indian lands, is the height of hypocrisy to even mention the word terrorism. Israel continues to be the Bully of the Middle East because people are ignorant of its history and it has created a culture if victimhood since the Holocaust that makes people reluctant to criticize Israel lest they be seen as anti-Semitic.
That is what America's leaders – Black, white and ethnic – remain silent on or simply mouth the Israeli line of the day because the pain and hurt of Israel's bombs do not impact Washington or London or Paris. By systematically annexing Palestinian lands under one pretext or the other, by encouraging Jewish settlements; by thumbing their noses at the United Nations and ignoring its resolutions because of United States sponsorship; by corralling a largely poor and defenseless population into a small area in the manner of the South African Bantustans during the apartheid era, Israel by sheer might of arms and weaponry believes that it can destroy Hamas and terrorism.
But that logic is deeply flawed because Israel's action in this modern Internet and technology driven world will be exposed and people of goodwill will become concerned. No longer does Israel control the information apparatus since photos, blogs and other easily and readily available communications tools will present the truth and the views from the other side. And far from weakening Hamas Israel will strengthen Palestinian opposition and help the organization recruit more willing converts: because all that the Gaza has to lose is its chains.
American and Israeli, and indeed western governments that historically supported, aided and abetted Israel in all of its military adventures, are stupid to think that this new round of violence and mass killings will ultimately make things better. For Israel it is fundamentally illogical to believe that killing off Hamas and innocent children will end terrorism. Terrorism is as much a part of a belief and mindset that is spawned by a set of social and economic factors and "destroying terrorism" without dealing with these underlying issues is like trying to sweep the tide back into the sea. Israel or any government cannot kill, bomb or imprison and idea and terrorism is a much an ideology as it is direct action to make a political point.
While one must also resoundingly and unequivocally condemn Hamas for its equally counterproductive firing of rockets into Israel that it knew was bound to offer Israel and offer up the pretext for this new round of warfare, the roots of what is now called "Palestinian terrorism" are to be found in poverty, hopelessness, a pro-Israel bias by the west, and a world that always gives Israel the benefit of the doubt even as it eagerly condemns Palestinians or any opposition to Israel.
But one can be critical of Israel and not be anti-Semitic. How can American and Israeli political leaders wax sensitive and philosophical about the death of a child in a southern Israeli border town killed by Hamas rockets and dismiss the murder of five Palestinian sisters slaughtered by Israeli warplanes and bombs as simply unfortunate collateral damage? How can Israel expect these raids to make things better? It will only make Palestinians more angry and spark even more terrorism. For Israel and the United States these are the reasons for the justification of the bombings, blockades, and other military actions taken in the light of Hamas rocket attacks.
* Military action will help with Israel's security
* It will get rid of some Palestinian terrorists
* Its actions will ultimately weakens Hamas and create the conditions for regime change
* This new military adventure is good for domestic politics; it makes Prime Minister Olmert look tough after criticisms that he was too soft to deal with Hezbollah in Israel's last war
* Politically, these bombings will increases Israel's power and leverage in future negotiations
But there are more cons than pros in this thinking. Among them are the following:
* Violence and bloodshed will create more internal Palestinian strife – not less
* Israel's military action ultimately kills, injures, and destroys – all in its way creating more resentment and anger
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