My Uninformed Gut Feeling on the Current Middle East Conflict

I must admit that I do not know enough about the conflict between Israel and Palestine to provide any sort of informed, in-depth analysis. I do, however, know how I feel about Israelis and Palestinians in general, and I can offer my gut feeling on the subject.

And so, with reckless abandon, I will.

Over the past few days, the news reports surrounding the most recent flare-up between Israel and Hamas reminds me of the news reports from this time last year, when the 24-hour networks were alternating between analysis of the upcoming Iowa caucus and a story out of San Francisco about a dead man and two injured brothers, victims of a 300-pound tiger named Tatiana which had escaped from its enclosure at that city’s zoo.

People immediately blamed the tiger. Tatiana had apparently bit a handler a year or so before the deadly incident, and therefore to many was just prone to meritless violence. People also blamed the zoo, and experts were subsequently called into the San Francisco Zoo as well as other zoos across the country, measuring and surveying the enclosures of big cats like Tatiana. It wasn’t until a little while after the initial reports that we started to hear rumblings that the 19- and 20-year-old dead man and injured brothers were seen taunting the animal, making noises, throwing things, and pretending to come over the fence and into the tiger’s enclosure.

Israel, some time ago, pulled all settlors and soldiers out of the Gaza Strip with the understanding that it would provide Hamas-controlled Palestine with reason to uphold a cease-fire. The negotiations, of course, took place with terrorists on the other side of the proverbial table, and it wasn’t long before Hamas, with the help of Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, used the Israeli pull-out as an opportunity to basically turn the Gaza Strip into one large Iranian missile base, interspersing rocket batteries in with homes and businesses owned and frequented by civilians. Since then, Hamas has been lobbing dozens of rockets into Israel, deliberately targeting schools, targeting supermarkets, targeting shopping districts. Just last week, Ahmadinejad threatened that Israel’s days were numbered.

Hamas was taunting the tiger. Now, that tiger has no longer been satisfied with merely clawing at the bars and outer reaches of its enclosure, but has jumped the fence entirely.

Good.

Israel’s response, however, has been derided by much of the left-leaning mainstream American media as being disproportionate. Nobody on the networks seems to care about the Israeli women and children targeted intentionally by Hamas; the news coverage focuses on the funerals in the Gaza Strip of those civilians unfortunately killed by Israeli forces in the process of destroying rocket batteries. Everybody is blaming the tiger. Nobody is blaming the agents provocateurs.

Yes, civilians have been killed. It’s awful. The Israelis, however, are not the ones specifically targeting civilians, they’re not the ones celebrating the murder of women and children. There is no moral equivalency when it comes to the war being waged by one side versus the other. There just isn’t. Israel is responding to weeks and months and indeed years of attacks, using surgical precision in their response; Hamas is targeting civilians while simultaneously hiding behind civilians.

I am not an expert in this area of the world, or any area for that matter. I only have my gut–which is ample–to guide my feelings on this and other related issues. However, even aside from culture, from religion, from the specifics on either side of this perpetual dispute, nobody should continue to taunt a tiger and not expect at least a chance of catastrophic injury in return. The blood of Palestinian women and children are therefore on the hands of Hamas.

In the meantime, we can only pray that this somehow gets resolved, perhaps by bringing a country like Egypt–which has more at stake internationally–to take control of Gaza. I would hope that Israel does not back down and agree to a cease-fire so long as Hamas is still in control on the other side. Still, I just don’t know. I don’t know enough about the region, about the background, about the past and about the possibilities in the future to offer any serious insight.

I just know enough not to taunt a tiger.

UPDATE, 12:45pm:

Even early this afternoon, as I listen to a White House news conference on the radio, I hear the press asking why the United Nations’ request for a superficial ceasefire was not good enough for the United States, I hear the press citing Palestinian deaths and asking why the president hasn’t encouraged restraint on the part of Israel. I want to throw up. Why is it that those on the American political left constantly give the benefit of the doubt to terrorists?

The deaths of Palestinian civilians are solely the doing of Hamas, the same Hamas embraced just a week or so ago by our own Jimmy “Dhimmi” Carter. Their blood, the blood of those women and children killed in Gaza, is solely on the hands of Hamas.

I hope Israel does NOT accept any cease-fire which allows Hamas to retain control of Gaza. Hamas needs to know that there are deadly consequences for lobbing rockets into Israel. Each time. Every time.

Regardless, the naivete on the part of the liberal media just sickens me.

Share

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Diplomacy + terrorism = Peace

    is the same as

    2 + 2 = 5

    Talking and making deals with these people will never work. We will be in the same situation with obama as president. He thinks he can make nice with these people who hate our guts and trust them to uphold agreements. What a fool.

    Isreal needs to strike with FULL vengeance upon these terrorists.

  2. Tigress says:

    Um, yes, Hamas is a terrorist organization. “Palestinians” are not a terrorist organization. All I’m saying is go for the terrorists–100% fair game–and how far is too far in terms of collateral damage?

    In Iraq, the US does not take the stance of wiping out all Iraqis just because Al-Qaida works and hides among them.

    Land mass is irrelevant. My point is that the historical reason for supporting Israel is evolving. (Please note that this is not an anti-Israeli statement.)

  3. SeanOsborne says:

    The “Palestinian” people voted for either HAMAS or the PLO to be their elected leadership. Both HAMAS and the PLO are terrorist organizations. What does that make the Palestinian people?

    Iraqi’s did not elect al-Qaeda to run their government.

    See the difference?

    With respect to the land-mass issues being raised… that issue will be addressed in short order by a higher power. Israel is destined (i.e. by eternal blood covenant of YHWH) to enlarge its territory by at least 20-fold.

    One more item… contrary to some statements… “Allah” is not the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), and it was not the angel Gabriel who squeezed Muhammad so tightly that he thought he would die. So who was it that imparted the Quran to the illiterate Muhammad? The answers may be found here and HERE.

  4. suek says:

    >>In Iraq, the US does not take the stance of wiping out all Iraqis just because Al-Qaida works and hides among them.>>

    This is true. We took extraordinary measures to minimize collateral damage. Some would even say irrational measures, and our soldiers were the ones who paid the price. The fault lies with Hamas, however, if they deliberately site their munitions and rockets in civilian-concentrated areas.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, your take on this epitomizes the only disagreement I have with you, conservative to conservative. Israel is an occupying power which has never adherred to the UN borders it SWORE to abide by. The US media always portrays Israel as reactive to Pal aggression, but the rest of the world’s media not monopolized by Jewish interests seems to disagree. The real goal of Israel is to make the Palestinians so miserable that whoever doesn’t get killed will move. Israel seeks to expand its territory, and it doesn’t care how long it takes. So the settlements keep expanding, bit by bit, day by day. Have to hand it to the Jewish people though: they’re smart enough to fool intelligent people into thinking that they’re somehow the victims; and they’re smart enough to make the US do their dirty work (Iraq, Afghanistan, and soon Iran) and make us think it’s a war against the “terrorists.” By the time Americans wake up to who their real enemy is, it will be far too late.

  6. Tigress says:

    Sean,

    The Palestinian people elected Hamas to represent them just as we elected Barack Obama to represent us. Therefore, THEY are ALL so obviously backing Hamas as evidenced by the videos clips we see of them celebrating Hamas just as WE are ALL backing Obama based of the video clips the world sees of us celebrating Obama.

    Not.

  7. Mary Ann says:

    The latest anonymous post compels me to reply and ask…which planet have you beamed down from? Perhaps your cells got a little mixed up in the transporter room. I don’t know which US media YOU watch, but the media in my area, along with the national news, is very anti-Israel. They report on the conflict as though it is all Israel’s fault…just as you opine. Israel has been more than honorable in its dealings with Palestinians and the terrorist group HAMAS. Are you of Arab heritage? Your perception (thinly veiled hatred, actually) of Israel and of the American media sort of tell me that you are. Anyone who could watch ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC news and come away thinking they are pro-Israel is not really listening with both ears.

  8. suek says:

    Tigress thinks that land mass and population are unimportant. I disagree, and found the statistics presented on this page of be of interest. Your mileage may vary.

    http://www.factsofisrael.com/stats2.html

  9. Tigress says:

    Suek,

    I am not sure what your point is about Israeli land mass. Of course it is relevant to the Israelis, but I am saying it is not relevant to US foreign policy. If it was only about population and square mileage, it would be pretty simple to derive a mathematical formula for dictating what *we* want every country on Earth to give up, take, or settle with, and it would change 99% of the world. That’s would be patently ridiculous.

    US foreign policy is for the benefit of the US, period. I do not see the need to defend every single thing Israel does simply because they have historically been an ally. They are not a US state, they are a separate country. The balance of power issues we used to be concerned about in the region are naturally evolving, and our foreign policy will evolve along with it. That is not an anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian statement. It is a pro-US statement.

  10. Jeannette says:

    Tigress,

    I had posted a response to you yesterday, but it did not show up on the board, so I will try again.

    Intelligence isn’t gathered to merely keep an eye on threats. HAMAS in Gaza has been firing rockets for years – YEARS, and Israel did not fire back until this past week, when HAMAS did not renew the truce and started up again.

    Israel, with the intelligence done on where the HAMAS leaders are, pinpointed their assault.

    That article from Larry Johnson is biased and I am surprised he wrote such a piece as I have always respected his opinion. (If you read the comments posted by the readers, the majority are not in agreement with him.) He knows that terrorists are cowards and purposefully keep civilians as human shields and to ward off attacks. The civilians are either willingly or unwillingly with them and in some cases, are family members. If they valued human life so much, then why use such tactics?

    There is no quick fix to this.

    Also, as for HAMAS being elected by the Palestinians – Jimmy Carter was there as caretaker to the elections and he did not raise an objection to a known terrorist organization being on the ballot. If he had done so, then the international community may have weighed in and kept these heathens off the ticket. Why bring legitimacy to a known terrorist organization? The millions in dollars in aid may be distributed by them, but a HUGE portion is kept for their terrorist activities.

    You want to swallow what the MSM, particularly CNN, reports, then do so with the caveat that a clear and present danger is being tackled so that their tentacles are not allowed to grow.

    Have a happy 2009 and peace be unto all of us.

  11. Tigress says:

    PS–I forgot to add that the whole reason we are so worried about the Constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama is because we do not want any chance of someone with dual loyalties leading our country. I find it highly ironic that more people do not question the motivations of the Israeli lobbyists in Washington. As private citizens, we each have our loyalties and loves, and many Jewish people obviously care deeply about Israel. But when it comes to policy, we must remember we are Americans, not Israelis or British or Kenyan or whatever, and we must craft our policy to fit America’s best interest only.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

Speak Your Mind

*