March 11, 2008
“And so the blood-drenched cycle begins again, each side convinced that it has no option but to make the other suffer.” This from a London Daily Telegraph >editorial. What my favorite London paper did not write about the latest outrage in Israel is that there is an option, and it is in Israel’s corner. The Jerusalem religious college that was attacked last week is the ideological heart of Israel’s Zionist movement, which champions settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. No matter how much Israelis and their American backers shout and posture in mock hysterics, the young men who were shot by the Palestinian gunmen were shot because the Israelis are the occupiers of lands that do not belong to them. And for the last 41 years have oppressed, killed, wounded, and deprived Palestinians from pursuing their right to live in their homeland. No matter how one looks at it, what is the difference between the killing of 126 Palestinians in Gaza the days before the Jerusalem massacre and the killing of 8 innocents last Thursday. Solomonic wisdom would answer that the Gaza killings were the same as those in Jerusalem, except that in Gaza they were done from the air and were bigger in numbers than those committed in Jerusalem, where the two gunmen were apprhended and killed in return.
Ron Prossor, the Israeli ambassador to London writes that there can be no excuse for the Jerusalem atrocity. Yet he never once mentions the atrocities committed daily by the Israeli so called Defence Force. The tit for tat will continue until some semblance of what is right and what is wrong enters into Israeli thought process. No one in their right mind challenges the right of Israel to exist—but within the borders of pre-1967. Even the hard men of Hamas are willing to talk, as long as we in the West agree that Hamas was democratically elected to represent the unfortunates of Gaza who were fed up with the corruption of the previous Palestinian authorities. George W. Bush demanded free elections in Gaza. Once he saw the result he declared Hamas a terrorist organization, and refused to deal with them. What kind of democracy was he thinking about? Let’s face it. It is up to Israel to pull back from captured Palestinian lands, and it is up to the Palestinians, once Israel has pulled back, to take it from there.