Saturday, January 3, 2009

Downer Alert: Israel Attacks Hamas, Hamas Attacks Israel, Repeat.

Israel's recent incursion into Gaza has a lot of people wondering how to interpret the most recent spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence. The air assault is continuing, and the ground-game is coming any day now, so expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming weeks.

For the uninitiated, here's a brief history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The unfortunate trend in the US is for mindless (mostly Conservative...sorry) drones to cheerlead whatever course of action Israel takes because they're our allies, and anyone who supports the Palestinians is just pallin' around with terrorists.

Don't forget that Israel is a democratic country. Their policies are subject to deliberation and debate just like our own policies. That means if you disagree with their policies, you're not anti-Israel or anti-Semitic or pro-terrorism, you just...disagree with the policy.

Think about it. If criticizing Israel makes you anti-Israel, that would mean all Bush critics are anti-American, and all Obama critics must also be anti-American...which would make us a nation of anti-Americans?

In this case, invading Gaza may be counterproductive to Israel's long-term security. Hamas sucks. No question. But they're a militant wing of a huge oppressed group. Millions of Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere are barely surviving on a tiny piece of land and meager resources, and the Israeli attacks are killing hundreds of civilians and pushing millions to the brink of starvation. If Israel keeps pounding the shit out of them, it will push the moderate peace-minded Palestinians towards violence, out of the mere necessity of self-preservation. That's bad news for liberals, conservatives and moderates alike.

What do you think about the whole situation? How will Obama break from Bush in handling this mess?


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