Saturday, July 01, 2006

Great job, Israel

If you couldn't tell, or don't know me that well, I'm being sarcastic.

This is extraordinarily stupid:

Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the Palestinian prime minister's office early Sunday, just hours after a Palestinian official said the soldier whose abduction sent Israeli troops into Gaza is alive and in stable condition...

Israel continued to hold 64 Hamas leaders rounded up in the West Bank Thursday night. They include eight Cabinet ministers.

I said some time ago when Hamas was elected that we need to face reality. Democracy means other nations don't always choose the way they want, but if we believe in democracy and a peace process, it means dealing with this new government. They are who the people picked.

Apparently, Israel, and to a small extent, ourselves and much of the world don't take that viewpoint.

This isn't banality I'm putting forth, some mushy-headed tripe to surrender. Israel has a right to existence and a right to defend itself. Attacking the government of a nation that it is trying to negotiate peace with is so stupid as to defy all logic. Furthermore, to hold eight Cabinet ministers from that nation is even more stupid.

I admire Israel's concern for its kidnapped soldier, and if I were that soldier, I'd want my government doing anything it could. A move like this, though, is self-defeating. That soldier is likely going to end up dead now, because Israel just spat upon the Palestinians by attacking their first duly elected government in ten years directly. Any calls for peace, regardless of who issues them, are shot now.

I tend to take a Kissengerian view towards the world, if I were to describe it. We should try to be idealistic first, but it's not always possible, so barring that, we should do whatever is in our best interests. Israel is conducting this operation as if they are seeking familial revenge, and so the actions being taken are ultimately going to hurt the kidnapped soldier and their nation far more.

The cutting off of aid to Hamas was a major blunder. How can we win hearts and minds by starving the Palestinians? Why are we, in effect, punishing them for exercising their right to vote? Isn't that what we want in the Middle East, more democracy?

Democracy means you, as a nation, get to choose your leaders, and you shouldn't have to fear reprisal for doing so. You shouldn't have to face starvation, closure of necessary services, etc., because the world is pissed you didn't listen to them. How would we react if the world had shut off oil to us when Bush was reelected? Think we might be just a little upset? It's the same way everywhere else, people, and it's wrong.

We're being bullies in this case. Instead of cutting off aid immediately to the Palestinians, we instead should have made it conditional. The aid remains unless attacks start occuring again in Israel. If attacks commence, the aid is suspended until further notice. But, no, we just acted in the typical way we've acted for 50 years, and gotten the same result: right now Israel and Palestine are back at the 1948 positions.

Great job.


Anonymous KG said...

Let's be realistic here, Hamas' official position is to not recognize the existence of Isreal, right?

That makes it rather hard to negotiate anything.

And there is nothing wrong with cutting off foriegn aid (which, is nothing more than a gift) when a nation changes it's rulers and becomes more hostile. Especially when they threaten to destroy the only functioning democracy (and our best ally) in the region - as part of their party platform.

Hamas is not interested in negotiating peace - they seek to conquer Isreal.

If any of the parties are acting stupid, it's the Palestinian government. They could have very easily turned over the soldier and made a statement about sovergnity - as most civilized governments would do. They are seeking a war (another foolish thing to do) with the hope that the rest of the Arab/Muslim world will join them.

The problem here is Palestine. As EM pointed out, they have no GDP, they have no civil society, they are a giant refuge camp that simply complains about something that happened half a century ago and relies on the generousity of strangers.

11:45 AM  

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