To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Israel, Gaza

Israel refuses to give it a real chance. Israelis seem to have an expectation that the rocket attacks will immediately end totally when Israel gives half of what the Palestinians need. During the cease-fire, rocket fire declined over 90%, and those few launched were almost entirely done by groups other than Hamas. Those groups don't have international ties or the ability to rearm with the more powerful missiles. After a few years, they'll run out, get bored, or kill themselves in suicide attacks.

The Palestinian people have been driven neurotic. You can't expect them to just get over it right away. Even a decade might not be enough. But this has been going on for 40 years and could easily go on for another 400; so why not just take the rockets for a decade, to see them gone forever?

Israel-apologists say that their charter and their secret Palestinian code or whatever says that they will not rest until Israel is destroyed, but that's absurd. Charters and pacts and vendettas are human creations; economics is a force of nature. There will not be terrorism if Gaza can rebuild. Charters will be ignored and vendettas forgotten. There is not a picture of anything on the Palestinian flag.

The reason that Israel refuses to give peace a real chance is that Manifest Destiny is not complete. What the US did to the Indians is occurring in exactly the same way in Israel: It's a land-grab for a nation's imaginary ego. Someone can say that military attacks can be defensive, but no one can say that the settlements and land seizures are defensive.

That is why Israeli leaders intentionally perpetuate the conflict: By doing so, they advance their careers. They have no interest in ending the rocket attacks; they want to see rockets rain on Israel so they can finish the Book of Judges re-enactment.

I don't think many Israeli citizens have any willingness to go out of their way to kill millions of people; and don't Israelis say that doing so would be purely defensive? But, of course, the rockets- children are crying in Sderot; if 1.4 million Arabs must be killed so civilized people don't have to feel like they need to periodically duck into a bomb shelter, who can argue?

Israel's leaders could end this in 10 years by ending the siege of Gaza and giving the West Bank a fair deal. But instead they perpetuate the conflict for their personal glory. So that is why I say the real enemies of the Israeli people are not in Gaza or Ramallah, but in West Jerusalem.