So, Israel’s pummeling Gaza. Again.
I’m not going to delve into the historical nuances of the Israel-Palestine question, by the way. For one, I can’t be bothered. Second, despite knowing a fair bit (whee!), I’m fairly certain that I still don’t know enough, and that you cannot come to a stated, non-controversial, or factually correct statement about who belongs where and the like.
Today is the second day of Israeli airstrikes (F16s, primarily) on Gaza. Israeli officials say they are targetting Hamas compounds and security centers. Olmert has come out and said that this operation will probably take longer, and there are reports of an imminent ground operation.
Now, a couple of interesting (and highly depressing points):
1. Elections are around the corner. Binyamin Netanyahu’s party, the conservative Likud, are leading in the elections.
2. The ceasefire being broken was largely Hamas being the complete cunts they are. Make no mistake, Israel’s being extremely heavy-handed but it WAS provoked.
3. Israel’s being heavy handed beyond belief. There used to exist a term called ‘proportionate response.’ Now, seemingly, Israel’s more than fed up of it.
4. Everyone in the world is having a go at Israel for it’s cack-handedness, for it’s disproportionate response to rocket attacks – everyone except the US that is. Well, they are having a ‘go’, but it’s more of a friendly jab to the shoulder rather than the vigorous finger-wagging ala the UK/EU.
Okay, that wasn’t so depressing. But this will be:
You see, Israel-Palestine is mired in a pit far, far deeper than superficially evident. Aside from the obvious fact that Israel’s current action is going to hand Hamas a shitload of family-less men and youth who’ve watched their sisters and mothers and fathers die, it’s also going to strengthen resolve for Hamas. Why would a party with a militant wing so hell bent on the destruction of Israel – when it’s again, bleedin’ obvious that the only way for Palestinians to live anything close to normal life would be extensive talks with Israel – continually gain support is beyond me. Yes, I know they run a very efficient welfare system, but surely that has to pale in comparison to Hamas’ fuckwittery re: Israel? Fatah, mind you, is little better, but they atleast present a realistic chance for a solution. Hamas only shows you a short film detailing NOTHING but war, and more war, and then some MORE war.
And who the fuck thinks Israel, at any point in time, will say ‘okay, we’ve had it with Hamas. They keep chucking rockets at us. Fuck it. Let’s give them most of the land back.’ Ofcourse, this’ll still not be good enough for Hamas, but my point is that a people who’ve lived through the holocaust and still bear marks of it will not for a fucking second even comprehend caving in on such a monumental state to some retards RPGs.
Israel has every right, for starters, to have a go at Hamas. It doesn’t have a right to be callous when it comes to civilian lives, and the hypocrisy prevalent in Israel’s actions against Palestinians as opposed to how they’ve suffered themselves is incredible. Ultimately though, as with any nation, Israel’s first priority is the security of their own people. With their funds, and their military might however, you’d expect and hope for them to be less indiscriminate. Yet, there’s an important question here: Hamas are rather brilliant at camoflauging (sic) themselves amidst the civilian population in Gaza. What do you then?
If you have 5 influential Hamas bastards in an apartment complex, amidst 60 civilians, what do you do? Ground forces are out of the question. So are black-ops, as you’d have to be a wee bit crazy to send them into Gaza to take out 5 guys amongst 60 civilians. You could take that risk, but again, few, if any nations would take less civilian lives at the cost of their own soldiers.
My point, fundamentally, is this – Israel has an extraordinary balance of power shift towards itself. Regarding the Palestinian question, it’s not even fair how lopsided the balance is. So, we have two options here:
1. We wait for Israel to grow a conscience. We wait for Israel to grow saner, to grow less violent. Is that going to happen, ever? No. For starters, Israel continues to be surrounded by antagonistic neighbours. Until Iran and Syria coupled with the rest of the Muslim world grow past their ridiculous hatred of jews, fuck all is going to happen here. Also, and this is my opinion, all the bollocks about hating Zionism and not Judaism is fucking bollocks.
2. Palestine ‘give in’. Giving in here, however, doesn’t mean that they lose all. Infact, seeing their current predicament, at this moment in time ANY solution would be incredibly beneficial for Palestine. But that’s not what they’re going to get. They’re going to get MORE. Israel and Israelis know that a non-violent Palestine is a great benefit for them. Not to mention at various times the two state solution offered has been more than enough. Yes, there are questions about settlements (something the Israeli state is becoming harsher on), and the question of Palestinian refugees, but they are solvable. A return to Pre-1967 borders has massive support in Palestine and in Israel. However, for any progress – and I meant genuine progress – to be made here, Hamas has to go.
Palestinians have suffered far too much, and they continue to suffer because of inept, war-mongering politicians and continued interference from the likes of Iran and Syria. Do those countries fund some of Hamas’ welfare programs? Ofcourse. But just what is the worth of that welfare? You get bread today, you get penicillin today, and tomorrow your house gets bombed because next to your house is a Hamas security compound. It is in the greater, long-term interest of Palestinians to reject Hamas. Israel will not negotiate with Hamas, and despite some anal behaviour, Israel has a right to not negotiate with a party whose militant wing continually chucks rockets into Israeli territory.
Unfortunately, there will be nowhere near any semblance of progress on the Palestine-Israel conflict. Violence begets violence, and we’re already seeing Ismael Haniya (I think), calling for another Intifada.
Every time I delve deep into this issue I come out neither angry and aggrieved, nor optimistic.
Anyway, second thing. Peshawar’s just suffered from another bomb blast. Amidst the countless rockets they suffer from (ironically, akin to Israeli towns like Netanya), there has been a rather alarming increase in the amount of bomb blasts in the city over the last couple of months. I really hope for that city, and for it’s people. This time, it’s being reported that the blast is considered retribution for some villagers opposing the taliban and in the process causing some militant casualties. So, my question here is: who do we blame now? I mean it’s not as if the blast was retaliation for drone attacks, right? Or for an extensive Pak-military operation?
Our everday way of life is slowly being destroyed by the taliban and their fundamentalist ilk. Yet, we are continually content to curse away the US, and now it seems India. But, the thing is, the taliban in Pakistan are not a by product of the US war on terror. They’re a by-product of Zia, of the ISI. Our border with Afghanistan – which is being ‘violated by US drones – has been violated since the 80s. Zia’s acceptance of Afghan refugees turned an already controversial border blurry beyond reproach. Our much vaunted sovereignty has, since then, been violated on a daily basis by Afghan smugglers whose products include various opiates, coke, heroin and guns. But we’ll never hear about that, will we?
I understand, and agree, that it is naive to not consider the US involvement in Afghanistan 2001 onwards and from the legacy they left in the late 80s. But there’s a difference between that and blaming them for all our ills. The US was NOT the reason that the Marriott in Isb got bombed. The US is NOT the reason the FIA office in Lahore was bombed. The US is not the reason the militants at Lal Masjid had shitloads of ammunition and guns.
When will we Pakistanis ever take responsibility? The “Yeh Hum Naheen” bollocks, that was set up to show the world that all muslims aren’t terrorists and the majority of muslims oppose it was neat, but it did fuck all at actually cleaning up our society in terms of fundamentalism. It was something to show – a superficial exercise. Look at me, I’m not a terrorist and I don’t believe in terrorism – but my local Imam preaches terror and I can’t be arsed to do anything about it. Infact, fuck it, it’s the American’s fault! Oh and 9/11 didn’t happen!
It’s ironic that Pakistani media is having a go at India and saying that they are unable to secure their own people and look at their faults, when the State of Pakistan and Pakistani media are just as fucking incapable of doing that!
Anyway, as always, my posts tend to descend into disheveled rants. This one is no different (except that it might’ve even started as a rant in the first place).
I hope today is the last day we see of Israel bombing the shit out of Gaza. I really do.