Israel loves this stuff. Once more, it puts into the long-term future any solution to the Israel-Palestine problem. This is how their plan went: they assassinate via a drone [no prize for guessing who supplied them with this latest silent robot killler] the chief of Hamas’ military. That act understandably sparks a call for revenge on the part of Hamas, which, remember, was democratically elected as the government of the Gaza strip.
So the Hamas militants send a few home-made rockets over to Israel and regrettably six Israelis are killed. Israel could’t be happier: they respond by killing some 150 Palestinians among whom are civilians, women and children. They target civilian buildings such as the head office of the Hamas government. We have seen this movie before–in the West Bank and in Gaza. God knows how the people have the relience to rebuild and build yet again the devastated infrastructure, but they do. And meanwhile, Israel basks in the aftermath–the much longer road back to talks about peace and the resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
This is David and Goliath all over again. Israel’s incomparable superiority in troops on the ground, air power, in its navy’s power to bombard Gaza’s coastline, in its guided missiles and in its drones makes this a pathetic contest between one giant regional bully and a weak entity [no army, no airforce, no sophisticated guided rockets] Israel had the generosity to give power to a few years ago.
This cruel cycle has to stop. The U.S., if it wants to serve its own interests, and the long-term interests of the Israelis, must step in and impose a peace settlement based on the two-state solution we have heard so much about for twenty years. It has leverage. Israel receives some $300 billion a year in U.S. aid [money, armaments] and if this were to be cut off, even Netanyahu would sit up and think and worry. A comprehensive peace plan would involve a roll-back to the 1967 borders [with compromises here and there] and guarantees by the U.S. and maybe the U.N. to counter any future threat to its borders.
It’s time the Israelis were brought to account. Prevarication and procrastination must end. Nazi-type attitudes to its opponents in the region must cease. Public opinion in the West and in the resurgent Arab world [especially Egypt] is turning against what some people regard as not only a bully state but even a rogue state. The negotiating table is waiting: stop provocative acts like building new settlements on Palestinian lands and finally get down to the negotiating table with the Palestinians–Hamas and Fatah.
POST SCRIPT: THE cease fire, brokered by the Egyptians, provides a welcome respite. Resumption of serious peace talks to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem is the only justification for the deaths and injuries the episode caused. Obama has an opportunity, let’s hope he takes it.