Gaza: Stop The Insanity

The third United Nations school in ten days has come under fire in Gaza.  Some of the estimated 240,000 Gazans who are currently displaced were using it for shelter.  Ten were killed.   UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is calling it a “criminal act.”  UN officials say they have repeatedly supplied Israel with the GPS coordinates of their schools in Gaza.

The Gazans are trapped.  There is no place for them to go.  They are being slaughtered.

1,700 have now been killed in Gaza.  Thousands are injured.  Most of the dead, according to NGO’s, are civilians.  On the other side, 64 soldiers and 3 civilians have been killed in Israel.

It’s reported that of the last 13 rockets Hamas fired into Israel, one was intercepted by the “Iron Dome” anti-missile defense system.  Twelve others landed in open fields.   For its part, Israel strikes back with one of the largest and most modern nuclear-armed military forces in the world, supported by the United States.

Israeli officials complain Hamas is using populated areas for launching rockets.   Where do they expect them to go?  In the middle of an open field where they can be easily picked off by Israeli jets?

Israel’s first stated objective was to stop the rockets.  Their objective then changed, to blowing up the tunnels, but they said nothing about the dozens of tunnels running into Egypt,  or the fact that Gaza is a what?  A nation?  No, it’s not that.  Okay, it’s an area, an area some call the world’s largest “open air prison” that’s been under siege for years, leaving its people tunneling out to obtain what they need to support their lives, and yes, to fight back against Israel.  But the Israelis didn’t stick with that objective.  No, they changed it again, saying they would stop their offensive once the threat from Hamas had been eliminated.  Is that even possible?

The Israelis are beginning to sound like the Bush Administration when it went into Iraq.   They started out by saying they were going after weapons of mass destruction,  then switching to regime change and finally ending up with a claim of needing to democratize all of the Middle East.  There might have been one or two other objectives I’m missing.   The Bushies kept changing their reason for the invasion of Iraq so often that it’s difficult to keep track of their reason for invasion at any given moment, a trick Netanyahu now seems to be employing.

At the same time, Israel refuses to engage in peace talks.  Why?  Really.  How do you settle your differences without some form of communication?   By elimination of the enemy?

When an Israeli solider goes missing, the Israelis claim he has been “kidnapped.”   But when they attack Gaza, they call it “war.”   Soldiers are not kidnapped during a time of war.  They are captured.

This insanity needs to stop.  Israel is in danger of becoming that which it most detests.  Concerns about being called “anti semitic” will no longer matter, as the number of dead and wounded so clearly and terribly, speaks for itself – and Israeli officials give the appearance of being more interested in maintaining the status quo than in reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The Bush Administration failed in its misguided attempt at using the U.S. military to democratize the Middle East.  Netanyahu and his hard-liners are also sure to fail as they attempt to reach a military solution to a political problem in Gaza and the West Bank.  Sooner or later they are going to have to meet with the Palestinians, representatives for all of the Palestinians, not the Palestinian Authority minus Hamas, and talk this out.  Again.  Hopefully this time they can arrive at a formula for a lasting peace, possibly based at least in part on what they agreed to in earlier talks and then reneged on.  Or, they can settle for the non-solution of ongoing carnage and never-ending war.

As in the past, whatever happens, you can be sure it will be the other guy’s fault.

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