Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'll take the high road and you'll take the low road...

Israel today displayed its political savvy, declaring a unilateral ceasefire that will in theory end the Israeli atrocities in Gaza but in reality will only see an escalation to the dire plight of the Palestinians. The bombs will stop but whilst Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni gaze from the high road to hatred, the situation within the Gaza Strip will worsen. Israeli troops will remain deep inside the Gaza Strip, thereby intensifying the blockade that will be forgotten now that the Knesset has shown some compassion, making the first move towards peace. As to who they were competing with it is hard to say. Hamas, the Gaza Strip's democratically elected government has been destroyed bec ause it was not in line with Israeli principles. Many of its members are dead and its leader, Khaled Mashaal, is apparently exiled in Damascus, isolated from returning some political stability to the territory that under the rule of law is his to govern.
Instead, conscripts and reservists from the enemy will patrol the streets, ensuring that Hamas cannot regroup or resupply. There is no means for a free and fair election to establish government whilst Israeli troops roam the streets so it is fortunate that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon sees this only as a temporary solution, describing the ceasefire as "the first step leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza." Ban must be hoping that successive steps will involve a withdrawal also of Israeli planes from Gazan skies and Israeli boats from Gazan waters. So long as the blockade continues, revenge from Hamas will have real justification and anti-Western sentiment the world over will only continue to ferment.
Indeed, the War on Terror has failed to eliminate the root cause of the problem. In less than three years, Israel has killed around 3500 Palestinians and Lebanese whilst suffering just 49 civilian deaths. This is summary murder. When the number of Palestinians who died exceeds by far the number of rockets and mortars fired (750 apparently), things have gone beyond retaliation. Such barefaced disproportionality does nothing more than cause abject fury atthe Israeli cause and by extension, the financial and political backing of Western powers, the US and UK in particular. As long as the governments of those countries fail to condemn Israeli-perpetrated breaches of international law, terror attacks will continue and innocent people will continue to die, all while Israel is praised by Western leaders for its bold move to further the cause of peace in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Dedicated to the memory of Malcolm H. Kerr, October 8. 1931- January 18. 1984.

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