Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Israel vs. Palestine…again

January 5, 2009

A temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas (majority Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip) ended a little over two weeks ago, and in the ensuing period we have already seen a number of missile attacks (killing hundreds of people including a number of civilians) on both sides and now Israel has invaded the Gaza Strip.  This Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems like it has been going on forever with no end in sight.

As I have followed this latest crisis in the news I found myself thinking “hasn’t this exact same thing happened before?”  And yes, it has.  Just three years ago Israel and the Islamist group Hezbollah from Lebanon exchanged rocket fire for a while and then Israel invaded, only to find that they were losing too many men to the guerilla fighting style of Hezbollah and pulled out.  I honestly don’t know why Israel is thinking things will turn out differently this time around.  While Hamas doesn’t have as much firepower as Hezbollah, there is still sure to be plenty of death on both sides in the coming weeks.  I know that there is an Israeli election coming up this year and some members of the government are trying to boost their standing with the public by roughing up the Palestinians, but what is this invasion doing for the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations?  I’m sure that some Israelis are hoping to damage Hamas badly enough for Fatah to return to power in Gaza, but I’m not sure how likely a possibility that is.  Also, by invading Gaza, Israel is lending sympathy to the Hamas cause and once again engendering the ire of other Arabs around the world, which is something that Israel does not need.  

While I don’t believe Israel should have just sat by while Hamas fired rockets into their towns, there had to be other options to try and ensure a longer peace deal.  A final conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be nearly impossible with Palestinians divided between Hamas and Fatah, but if both sides would be willing to make the necessary concessions (Israel reopens supply-lines to Gaza, Hamas recognizes Israels right to exist…kind of a long shot on that one though), then peace is a possibility while the two sides begin to work out their differences.