Thursday, June 29, 2006
Israeli & Palestinian showdown in Gaza
This news is sooo not good: Israel sent tanks into N. Gaza and arrested the Palestinian deputy prime minister and more than 30 of other Hamas govt officials early Thurs, escalating its response to the abduction of one of its soldiers. The moves came after 1000s of troops moved into S. Gaza Weds and Israeli warplanes roared over the summer home of Syria’s president, who is blamed for harboring Hamas leaders. Witnesses said Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered N. Gaza before daybreak, adding a 2nd front to the Israeli action in Gaza. No deaths or injuries were reported in the Israeli actions so far. But the warplanes knocked out Gaza’s electric power plant, raising the specter of a humanitarian crisis. The Hamas-led govt warned of “epidemics and health disasters” because of damaged water pipes to central Gaza and the lack of power to pump water." Add to that bad news this REALLY bad news: "Gaza militants (the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian Pres Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement) say they fired a chemical-tipped rocket at Israel early Thurs morning." Holy Pope on a rope... I f-ing hope al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade is blowing smoke on this WMD claim b/c it's hard not to believe that Israel won't be sorely tempted to flex their defensive muscles and flatten the entire place if the Martyrs insanely used WMDs. But here's the weird thing: In Iraq, the US said the Iraqis had WMD's, but the Iraqis said they didn't. In Gaza, Israel says the Gazans don't have WMD's, but the Gazans say they do. We already know how the US claim panned out. My money is on the Israelis being right on this. But the implications of these latest moves are huge: Israel is absolutely entitled to respond when provoked/ attacked, but it should do so wisely and respect the laws of war. Destroying the power station and the water system will primarily hurt and punish the civilians, not the militant leaders. Also, Israel is on the brink of dissolving the govt of the Palestinians unilaterally-- despite the appalling fact that Hamas won the election-- but like or not, they were duly elected. The consequences of this will have enormous long-term implications for both peoples. Israel needs to make it clear that it has no intention of remaining in Gaza, must allow the Palestinians to become a complete sovereign nation & must devote their policies to not killing civilians, and the Palestinians need to make it clear that they will recognize the state of Israel, stop being dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, and then take concrete action towards that end, including severe punishments for those who attack Israel and her citizens. Let's hope cooler heads prevail on this one. Plus, since the US always promises to back Israel up if attacked, our troops are just a hop, skip, and jump away. Good to see how BushCo's democracy is spreading like wildfire in the Middle East, no?