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Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

Israel’s Raid

Behind the BP disaster, Israel’s raid on an aid convoy of ships is the other big story of the moment.  I don’t share the view of many that this was a great use of force on Israel’s part.  It seems like they overplayed their hand from a P.R. standpoint, even if some of the people on the ship were unsavory.  It also seems they have alienated their longstanding best friend in the Muslim world, Turkey.  That said, I don’t think the U.S. should go out on a limb on this front.  The Gaza Strip has made its own bed by electing Hamas.  It is a lot to ask for Israel to even tolerate the existence of this terror-run regime right next store to it.  There is an air of unreality about Europe’s and Obama’s attempts to get the peace process begun again so long as Hamas is given any kind of respectability in the Palestinian political order.  Gaza has descended mightily under its leadership and Israel’s consequent isolation of this small piece of land.  But even someone ill disposed to Israel must realize there is no reason from its own self-interested perspective to do any business with a group that has no moderate elements and no likelihood of using any “peace process” for anything but continued low level war against Israel through kidnappings and rocket attacks.  There may be some justice in the generic Palestinian claim for a homeland and compensation for their expulsion from their native lands, but even justice must give way to reality when it asks the stronger party for an accomadation.

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David Frum has a good piece on how Obama’s convoluted rhetoric–the classic politician’s trick of trying to make everyone happy–will soon crash into reality in the Obama administration.

Consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  During the campaign, Obama like most U.S. politicians expressed the usual loyalty to Israel.  But he also suggested he’d be more hands on and effective than Bush in resolving the long-standing conflict.  The latter is highly unlikely, of course, not least because the demented Hamas leadership is in charge of the Palestinian Authority and the bitter grievances on both sides.  But now he must say something about who is chiefly at fault this time and whether the response to that fault is legitimate and proportional, and, in so doing, he risks alienating human rights activists and progressives who are typically critical of Israel’s tactics and the humanitarian problems they exacerbate and, on the other side, he risks offending supporters of Israel within and without the Democratic Party who represent a major source of domestic power.

My own nationalist position of strategic disengagement is clear, consistent, and far outside the mainstream.  But if it were widely adopted, we could judge an Obama on how he affects our own lives and not by how he sponsors one side or the other in complicated conflicts that have little to do with the United States halfway around the world, whether it’s a conflict of Russia in Ossetia, Israel in Gaza, or Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers for that matter.

From Blagojevich to Gaza, Obama is learning even before he takes office that it’s not quite so easy to govern as it is to give a speech.  But, hey, at least we have Change!

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