As the bloodshed increases and the desperation intensifies, it is time to ask what is the ultimate aim of the bombardment of Gaza, and how will the international community stop each side from harming the innocents of the other.
As the Israeli-Palestinian crisis deepens and the number of dead rises, two urgent questions need to be answered. What is the ultimate aim of Israel’s overwhelming bombardment of people it has caged in effectively the world’s largest open air prison – Gaza - and if the aim is the destruction of its democratically elected Hamas leadership, who will assume control of that parlous strip of land?
Few issues incite such division as this volatile part of the
No person nor state should be expected to tolerate the sort of rocket fire that Hamas has inflicted on
Of the countless cliché’s that come to mind, two highly relevant to both parties in this disaster must be ‘violence begets violence’ and ‘two wrongs do not make a right’.
As Israeli politicians announce their Jewish constituents have been united by the fear of Hamas rockets, so too have Gazans found a new unity in the fight against
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is quite right to assert that her people are sick and tired of hearing the air-raid sirens warning of incoming rockets. Her argument flounders however when she and fellow politicians hold Israel has a right to respond by use of violence because that violence is in the form of wholesale attacks on the innocents in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It is impossible to ‘shock and awe’
Ms Livni and others seem incapable of grasping the concept that if Israelis are permitted the luxury of violent reactions, then surely that is something Palestinians as fellow human beings are also are entitled to.
Israel does feel threatened, but it doesn’t take much brain power to see that years of repression of Palestinians through occupation, blockades of essential goods and fencing them in has fuelled a sense of hatred and resistance. Hamas, and for that matter Hizbollah did not exist until the early 1980s. Hamas surely draws support from a concept of action even if it results in a faster death over a slow death by blockade.
Desperation – such as there currently being no fresh drinking water in
Instead what is likely to happen is a new version of the disastrous 2006 offensive on Hizbollah.
Now having unleashed the dogs of war on
Perhaps its main backer, the
All the military might in the world becomes a problem rather than a solution unless fighting an equally matched opponent, or being hellbent on total destruction of an enemy nation.
The Cold War nuclear standoff between the
So back to the original questions.
And the other issue: in the unlikely event of the total defeat of Hamas, what then?
The Middle-East has often been referred to as a powder keg. Such a description seems strangely benign as the shelling, the fear, the tiny white shrouds held by grieving parents, the utter despair, the bloodshed, the unthinkable destruction, and the calculation of it all fill television, radio and newspaper reports.
Shalom and Salaam are the Hebrew and Arabic words for peace. They are dramatically under-utilised and await a true commitment to an over-used ‘s’ word, ‘solution’. A solution requires good will on both sides to achieve a cessation of Hamas rocket fire on innocent Israelis, but also of Israeli oppression of innocent Palestinians.
Like every other world problem it seems this too will confront Barack Obama in little over a week. It is to be hoped there is something left to salvage – another underutilised ‘s’ word.