Friday, November 16, 2012

Israel & Gaza. Please Read the whole thing. Very Stream of Thought and Jumbled.

Alright.  I've been critical on Israel's actions in Gaza.  There are many reasons for this.  However I do want to make something clear...I understand that no country can nor should tolerate their people being aimed at with rockets.  Despite those rockets being unsophisticated and rarely lethal, it still is terrorism and they are dangerous and are disruptive.

Their short term goals are simple:  Assassinate militant leaders, leveling various safe houses and getting rid of weapon depots and military installations.  But what is their long term, for as Janine Zacharia stated:

"In the end, Israel will be no safer, although it will surely be more alone in the world and living in a neighborhood that is less tolerant of its aggressive countermeasures."

What Israel is doing is they are further empowering Hamas.  Their actions create a greater number of victims in Gaza and create a much greater higher rate of Despair.  Despair, as we know, tends to be the greatest creator of terrorists.  In effect, Israel's actions in Gaza further radicalizes Gaza.  Gaza's actions in response further radicalizes Israel.  Basically the two sides radicalize each other.

Even worse, as Israel's far right wing grows (and their far right wing makes ours look positively leftist), the chances of peace continue to decrease.  Netanyahu adds more and more members of the far right to his government so he can govern effectively without any of the leftists having much say.  Many if not all of you I am sure have heard of the "We shall drive the Jews into the Sea" comments left by many Islamists and too-many Palestinians.  Well on the far right of Israel they have a similar sentiment where it comes to the Palestinians.  That far right does not want a two state solution.  They want more and more settlements to be built until the Palestinians run out of land.

What about Gaza?  As I've stated they are radicalized and are going too far with their attacks.  They cannot expect more than this from Israel as long as the more independent groups continue to pummel Israel with rockets. (Hamas, until this began, was mostly hands off on this round of violence.  Mostly.)  But Israel continues building settlement after settlement in Gaza and the West Bank.  Add the high unemployment rates in the occupied territories, 40% for Gaza, 23.5% for West Bank, and the fact that with how various terror groups cluster around civilian areas, Israel hits too many civilians in their strike back.  And the terror groups cynically take advantage of this kind of despair.  Suicide bombers are told their families will be paid handsomely for their sacrifice, and they often recruit amongst the young unemployed class whose faith is also high.  Of course, Israel then bulldozes the homes of the families of suicide bombers which to me just is cold, as those families often do not know of the bombing until after it happens.  

And then there is the world reaction.  The U.S. is rather rare in that our media is fully on Israel's side.  Most of the world media (especially western europe, well and the middle east of course) side on the Palestinian side.  And it's easy to get caught up in that.  They're underdogs. They are oppressed.  They see themselves as freedom fighters.  I believe this is why the IDF has begun their social media campaign.  They have gamified their website (Search X amount of times, get a badge.  Comment, get badges.).  And they released video of their strikes onto Twitter and YouTube.  And now they're almost announcing their strikes before they commit them.  Here's a tweet:
"Stay Away From Hamas, Second Phase Is Coming."

Of course that tweet was written in Arabic, sent to as many Gaza citizens as they could.  They are also sending texts to Israeli citizens every time a rocket is fired.  

I will give the IDF some credit however.  The Iron Dome is working far better than anyone expected.   And Israel is getting better at their targeting so fewer Palestinian civilians die.  Of course in the first night of bombing, as many Palestinians died as Israelis did in the previous 3 years, but the casualty rate is much lower than the offensive 4 years ago.  And the current strikes do have a lower civilian casualty count than the US drone strike program. 

Now of course we have the rest of the world to consider.  This is the second time that Israel has launched a major offensive right after the election of Barack Obama.  Odd coincidence that, and it very well might be a coincidence.  This is, however, their first major action since the Arab Spring.  And there are three countries right on the border of Israel currently effected by the Arab Spring.  

Syria is in the midst of a Civil War and thus will not be doing much in regards to Israel at all.
Jordan, a semi-Israeli ally, is in the midst of massive protests against their government. has the Muslim Brotherhood effectively in charge of the government.  I do not think they have much power over the military, however.

And Egypt is the scary one.  They were a semi-ally to Israel for years.  We gave them aid as long as they didn't misbehave.  Of course, their government conditioned their people to hate on Israel and blame Israel for most everything wrong in Egypt, so that's why they were a semi-ally.  (That, by the way, is a common tactic in the middle eastern dictatorships.  Blame Israel for everything.)  Egypt is now feeling insulted as they were brokering a cease-fire before Israel launched their attacks.  Some sources say they successfully brokered that cease-fire which is even worse.  And now their PM has backed Gaza.  Question is is how far is Egypt willing to go.  My bet not that far, but I could easily be wrong.  I am an amateur after all.

So what is the best solution to the Gaza situation?  Well, the best one is for the Israelis to accept the Palestinians as people who actually are people, and the Palestinians to accept the Israelis as people and the violence to stop.  But that is about as likely to spontaneously happen as JHVH coming down and putting a stop to this himself.  (Sophia cannot be bothered either.)  The best most realistic solution probably does not exist.  I know President Clinton got close but Yassir Arafat threw it away in the vain hopes that being given everything he asked for would let him ask for more (He also realized once he had brought peace, he'd have no political power).

Honestly?  Israel should give the Palestinians hope that it is serious about the two-state solution.  Currently Netanyahu has said nothing can be done until the Palestinian Territories are pacified.  That just sounds too ominous.  But if they reversed their settlement project in the West Bank it might signal to the people of Palestine that Israel is serious.  But instead, Israel continues to build settlements.  They treat the West Bank as a suburb of Jerusalem and Kfar Sava and not as  the future location of the state of Palestine.  

The above would not stop the violence, no.   It might even temporarily intensify it.  The terrorists don't want peace anymore than Israel's right does.  They would be irrelevant if the state of Palestine came about.  But for the people of Palestine, Israel needs to hold out the olive branch.


  1. Israel is, by far, the stronger power in this exchange. Expecting Palestine to make the first overture of peace is ridiculous.

    One thing Jesus got right was "turn the other cheek"; Israel's just got to accept that it's going to be hit a few times and stop retaliating if there's ever going to be peace.

  2. Well that was my point, While Hamas or the PA may say "We'll stop attacks" there's too many other groups out there that'll gladly attack (And have been). So Israel has to make the first huge overture.

    1. Yeah, the problem is that Israel constantly, consistently, makes "stopping the attacks" a pre-condition of any agreement, requiring the attacks to stop before the cease any of their actions against Palestine (including the continuation and expansion of the settlements that are the core of the problem.)

      They doom peace before it can ever start.

      Of course, when you understand they are an inherently racist government, caring only about the rights and safety of Jews specifically, this starts to make sense. It's still crappy, but at least you understand why.


    Nope, not spam. But it IS totally, completely relevant.