Thursday, June 29, 2006

Israel's Disportionate Military Response To Palestinian Militant Hostage Incident A Serious Threat To Future MidEast Stability

The people of Israel certainly have the right to live in peace without fear of violence from terrorism. And Palestinian militants should also realise that they hold the responsibility not to commit outrageous acts that provoke a strong response from Israel that hurt many of the Palestinian people. Many of the Palestinian people live in great poverty, and this current military situation harms their access to water and electrity, or makes it unsafe to go out to get food or medical attention.

Since the days of President Carter and his successful peace summit in which Egypt and Israel signed a document ending their conflict, there was the hope of building on that during the Bill Clinton years, after nothing substantially improved during the Reagan and Bush years. Yasser Arafat of the PLO was brought back from Northern Africa, and co-opted by the U.S. into becoming the leader of a Palestinian government of a sort by means of signing a "peace process" with Israel. Yasser Arafat hoped to eventually achieve the goal of acquiring Jerusalem through this process, but it became clear that Israel would never permit this, creating an uneasy and shaky peace process where the Palestinians would be given their own state and government in increments.

It was the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority government to make sure that police and military elements would control terrorism or violence if Israel gave back portions of "land for peace". But with the pullback of Israeli settlers from the Gaza area, serious security concerns were raised. And sure enough it has become a prime area for the launch of militant attacks.

With the recent attack and abduction of the young Israeli soldier, Israel found an opening to justify a wide ranging attack on militants and the Hamas government both. At least 60 Hamas lawmakers are now prisoners of the Israeli military. Israel was unhappy with the Hamas government to say the least, and Fatah which unexpectedly lost the election due to years of Palestinian disatisfaction with corruption and other problems, only felt forced into holding " free elections" because of the faulty and misguided Bush Doctine of free elections as the cure to all MidEast problems, failing to recognize that these nations are not ready for free elections due to many conditions such as poverty, illiteracy, radical religious beliefs, and no former tradition of democracy. The unexpected landslide win of Hamas over Fatah, shocked the world. And Israel looked for a justification to change this bad election result. Hamas had an obligation to accept Israel's right to exist and contain Palestinian terrorism. Only the morning before the huge new Israeli military offensive, did Hamas give a cautious support to some sort of recognition of Israel's right to exist.

The current situation is now very tense. Fatah could find themselves in better standing to retake power, but it is certainly not under the circumstances it would prefer. There is a shared resent and anger at Israel that unites a common Palestinian anger, rather than solely benefits Fatah and hurts Hamas. And the "in your face" fly-over of the Syrian President's summer home, only inspires a renewed conflict with Syria and Israel. Syria has a huge rocket force of chemical warhead arms and Israel has a big nuclear force. If this goes beyond mere hurt pride, then there could be some really unacceptable warfare like the MidEast has never before seen. It could go well beyond a few Palestinian teenagers throwing rocks rather harmlessly at Israeli armoured vehicles.

Israel apparently had no mere intention to mere seek a rescue mission for 19 year old soldier who was taken hostage. Israel is seeking to solve way too many issues and conflicts with both Hamas and Palestinian radicalism. This widespread military campaign as well as stirring up new conflict with Syria is a grave danger to MidEast peace. All sides need to restrain themselves and be on their best behavior very soon, This situation is way too dangerous to continue down this path of mutual violence and creation of more hard feelings. The MidEast peace process being in danger is the least of the worries with a serious regional conflict that could spin out of control if it continues much longer a far more serious issue right now.

Some right wing websites and blogs, even encouraged this latest military move by Israel. Like many issues that evade their limited comprehension, they failed to recognize the deep danger in this latest MidEast crisis. Fortunately the White House did recognize the danger and sought to warn Israel to retrain their efforts.


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