The news out of the middle east continues as it has seemed to since 1948. Someone is upset and Israel is involved.
Indeed, one would think that Israel is the cause of the problems there to begin with. But such a thing would be disingenuous to say as it relies on an incomplete analysis of what has happened there. Indeed, many of the efforts to pin the problem on the leadership in Israel does not take into account anything but what gets spoon-fed to us by the media. I think it might be important to look at a little more to see what exactly is going on.
Story after story have come out in recent weeks surrounding the Jewish state. First, we saw that there was a peace process in place and Israel agreed, but Hamas didn’t. Hamas continued to lob missiles into Israel and as a result, the Jews decided it was time to defend themselves. Both sides have signaled an unwillingness to budge on their demands, but looking at the demands that have been shared, one wonders why this is still a debate as to who is right and who is wrong. It was Hamas after all that was a part of the coalition that wanted to “push Israel into the sea.” Many predicted that Israel wouldn’t last, but here we are all of these years later and they are still fighting for their lives. Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and as a result, Israel shut it off as they were concerned that an enemy was in their midst. Hamas does not want Israel to survive. To put it in terms that we in America could understand, it would be like Rhode Island being bent on the destruction of Connecticut. You could understand the reasons why they would be alarmed and Israel is just that alarmed.
The key difference is that when there are casualties for Israel, they are very few. When there are casualties for the Palestinians, they end up higher, but that happens because Hamas likes to put their “freedom fighters” and weapons near schools, hospitals and neighborhoods. When Israel goes after those attacking their nation, others get caught in the crossfire.
We live in a world where we shoot from the hip based on information that is incomplete. We live from sound bite to sound bite, rather than from complete stories that flesh out the whole tale of what is taking place.
If peace is to happen, then those in Gaza need to understand that Israel has a right to exist. Until that happens, there will be only reflections of peace rather than peace itself. Such things need to happen, but the likelihood of it is remote. There are still those in the region that believe Israel is to blame for everything and should not exist. But it is those people that have put their own in harms way to make a rather shaky point. The result is what we have today.
(accompanying photo by flickr user Alistair. Click here for license)