Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel and Gaza

I'm still working out my own feelings about what happened on this latest attempt to break the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza.  This was the 9th attempt since 2008 (according to the BBC) to break the blockade, but the sad outcome was apparently lamentable enough for Egypt to change its mind and open its border once again with Gaza.  This strikes me as awfully convenient, but I'm still wading through the particulars, so no judgment just yet.

There are plenty out there who need no excuse to hate Israel, and they are loathsome.  That said, Israel is currently led by a man who any American would recognize as Dick Cheney.  Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is a man who never met another he did not distrust.  And, just as Americans couldn't be defined by W. and Cheney in office, Israelis cannot be defined by Bibi as Prime Minister or -- worse yet -- Soviet-born hawk Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

The experience of the last couple of days shows how trigger-happy the Israeli government has become.  As always, this is surely not without reason, but....  In our 24/7 news cycle, however, reason gets lost in the drama.  Instead of Hamas being the story, it becomes the horrible, fascistic Israelis wreaking havoc on the woefully-besieged Gazans.

Make no mistake:  the Gazans are being held hostage by Hamas as much (if not more) than the Israelis, and Palestinian President Abbas is powerless to do anything about it.  This fact should tell us a lot.  The Gazan people are suffering to be sure, but, if we think "the Jews" are the only bad guys, we're not paying attention.