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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Evil Reborn?

Like all citizens of the world, I am watching the events unfolding in Gaza with the Israeli bombing, strafing and soon to come ground invasion. The history of this area has been one heartache after another of tit-for-tat killings. But recently, the word genocide has begun creeping into the dialogue.

There are several problems. First, any criticism of what the STATE of Israel, that is, its government, is immediately denounced as anti-Semitism. This is a problem because it is being used as a cover, and a justification for whatever bad acts the government decides to do. And there are many. Israel has not lived up to any of the conditions set up in Oslo, Rekyavik, Taba, the Roadmap, or a large number of US resolutions - all of which call for it to withdraw to the 1967 borders, and stop building settlements in areas outside that line.

Second, The Palestinians insistence on the 'right of return'. Regardless of how one feels about the formation of the State of Israel and the movement of millions of Palestinians to refugee camps back in the 1940s, the facts on the ground are here and now. The populations of both groups have continued to grow, and the areas controlled by both have not. There is pressure on both sides to find room for new inhabitants. The fact is that most of the Palestinians alive today were always residents of the 'refugee' camps that are now cities within the West Bank and Gaza. In return for this concession on the part of the Palestinians, Israel MUST allow and/or provide access to water. In this desert region, water is more important than oil. It is a vital necessity of life and must not be restricted or interfered with.

There are other issues, the fence, the status of Jerusalem, settlements in the West Bank, the Hamas/Fatah internecine conflict, the list goes on and on.

But now to my point. The world has basically agreed by consensus that certain leaders, including Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and others, have committed horrendous crimes against their own people and others. The death tolls in each instance are in the millions and simply staggering in the wanton disrespect for human life. So let's look at the leadership in Israel and Gaza and see if there are any comparisons.

There has been much argument among the MSM whether Israel's response to Hamas' rocket attacks is disproportionate. There has almost been unanimous condemnation by the governments around the world of Hamas, claiming that they started this and they are getting a well-deserved pounding, after all, Israel has a right to defend itself.

While I am not defending suicide bombers and rocket attacks by the Palestinians, we do need some perspective on this issue.

Here's a little story (h/t to several commenters at FDL and C&L and Salon for some of the imagery):

Suppose that the people of Rhode Island elected a Grand Dragon of the KKK for their governor. Then let's suppose that the governor of Massachusetts, who is a black man(absolutely no offense or anything intended to the current governor), announced that he would not recognize the government of Rhode Island because it is now being run by a terrorist organization. And the government of Massachusetts began the process of erecting a huge concrete 'fence' around the entire state of Rhode Island. Of course, he didn't stay on the borders, but ran the fence around some prime pieces of real estate that Massachusetts really wanted to get away from Rhode Island in the first place. Then the government of Massachusetts imposed a blockade and refused to let in any food, fuel, medicine and other stuff for the people of Rhode Island. It gets so bad that the people there are eating grass because there is no other food. Now let this situation go on for over a year. Finally, the people of Rhode Island say enough, and begin building rockets which they lob over the fence towards the cities of Massachusetts. Of course the Governor of Massachusetts screams that he needs to defend his State and launches an aerial bombardment, including bombing any vehicle that is moving, any person who happens to be walking on the street, all the police and fire stations, all the city halls and state capitol, and the houses of any government officials it can find (or not). The home-made rockets didn't kill very many people. But hundreds are now dead and thousands injured in Rhode Island.

Here is where the evil comes in. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been asked when they will allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Her reply: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, so there is no need for any humanitarian intervention.

Evil reborn? Whaddya think? I'm just sayin'.

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