Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cycle of violence

Is it just me? Or does it seem like the Israeli government always picks Christmastime every year to start bombing the hell out of their neighbors?
I’m not going to try and defend Hamas, but the Israeli military action is, as usual, big-time overkill. I never could find out how many Israeli’s were killed by the missile attacks which purportedly sparked this latest offensive, but the death toll on the other side is now at 350 and climbing. That is typical of the entire history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But no matter how lop-sided the death ratio is, (100-to-1?) it never solves anything but rather perpetuates the cycle of violence and death. Israel has maintained an economic death grip on the Palestinian territories for years now, not allowing any kind of normal commerce to take place and keeping the populace in a state of near squalor and starvation. At the same time, the government has allowed the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories to grow and expand almost unheeded. Then they act surprised when radical factions launch rockets on a sporadic basis.
Then over here, our government acts like the Israeli response is appropriate and necessary even as every other country on the planet is appropriately appalled. It makes me sick.
I don’t know if Obama can change things and I know if he even tries to moderate the U.S.’s current Israel-can-do-no-wrong approach to the Middle East he will be viciously attacked by the rightwing spin machine and its media lapdogs. But do something he must because it is clear that the current Israeli government is not going to pull itself out of this cycle of violence on its own.

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