We (the West) have called on the Palestinians and Hamas to "recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace." Since the 26th, when Hamas won their landslide victory, we have not heard much from the right other than 'the sky is falling.' Christopher Hitchens went so far as to call the Palestinians suicide voters. SAWB predicts "Maybe it's just me, but ifin I were a betting man, I'd be wagering that this little tiff between Israel and Palestine is going to explode here sooner rather than later." Dante has wondered if Israel’s plan all along has been to goad the Palestinians into "actual military combat."
I think terms like this really demonstrate how little the actual facts on the ground matter. Let us go over them, just to be clear. Israel is not going anywhere. They are millions of people who live there now, who have tanks and guns and planes with big bombs. Hamas’ recognition is only important symbolically. The important thing is that Hamas keep the nominal ceasefire going with the Israelis. The Palestinians are not going anywhere. They are millions of people who live there, they have guns and rockets and people willing to kill themselves to stop Israel. The West’s recognition is only important symbolically. The important thing is the nominal amount of money the West sends to prop up the Palestinians.
All those people live closer together than I live to Athens, Georgia.
It is a very difficult thing to ignore someone pointing a real gun at you. (So I’ve heard.)
Suicide voters are a far sight better than suicide bombers.
The 'tiff' between Israel and Palestine explodes, on average, every 7 hours.
Israel has already engaged the Palestinians in "actual military combat." The Israelis won big. Real big. That’s how we got to this point in the first place.
And that’s really the big daddy, right there. What’s Israel going to do, take over Palestine, again? That worked so well for the last 40 years that we want to do it all over? Talk about suicide.
Lost in Translation yet? You’re about to be.
Today, we got an open letter from Hamas. It is a strange letter, obviously written by someone who doesn’t know the West very well, but who is trying. In my opinion, there are three big parts of this:
"My message to the West—to America, to Europe, to everybody—is this: Hamas wants peace. We hate bloodshed and killing. We don't want to fight. There is a verse in the Qur'an that says whoever kills one soul kills all souls. And whoever brings life to people brings life to a nation. Our problem is with the Israeli occupation."
"Our weapons are the only guarantee of our existence. If a proper Palestinian state were established, then all the militias would melt inside the Palestinian Army."
"We would be happy to work under the Irish model. But is Israel prepared to respect our political wing? Is Israel ready for such a formula?"
(Bold added for emphasis, HR)
Thing is, I’ve never heard anything like this from any Palestinian reported in a major American news outlet. Look at that for a minute. Believe it or not as you choose, but it just does not sound like the usual propaganda to me.
Meanwhile, back in Israel, there is strife brewing between those who want peace and security and rule of law, and those who want only war. This may give you a clue as to whom the real enemies of peace are: The fight was on in Amona.
"The confrontation at Amona, one of dozens of illegal outposts established since the 1990s, began Wednesday morning, after Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a final appeal by the settlers. The court ordered nine houses in Amona, built on private Palestinian land, to be demolished. The remainder of the outpost, inhabited by about 35 families living in cramped trailer homes, was not yet being cleared."
"Amona is one of dozens of outposts set up by settlers in the past decade to prevent the creation of a future Palestinian state."
"However, since the launch of the road map in 2003, the evacuation of outposts has been bogged down in legal maneuvering, and a government report said Israel was not doing enough to meet its commitments. Some government ministries were even funneling state funds to the outposts."
(Bold added for emphasis. HR.)
I applaud Israel for doing what needs to be done. I think Ariel Sharon broke his own heart to do what is right. When he became Prime Minister, I cussed up a storm becaue all I could see was his past. But the fight for peace rages on in the here and now, where unlikely heroes rise. Wake up, Ariel. Wake up.
Wake up, Hamas. Please.