What does Israel expect after this umpteenth bombing Lead hardened? Protecting Israeli citizens? Destroying Hamas? Has such a scenario proved to work in the past?
What do Hamas leaders expect by continuing their rocket attacks on Israel? Why this furious energy, when they receive Israeli bombs by hundredfold in return? It’s logical that a resistance movement, faced by an occupying force, looses men to gain ground. However, when the balance of power is what it is; when each rocket is followed by a flood of fire, when the action is too costly in human lives, so unproductive on the political front and so unpopular on the international level, what is the logic of such stubbornness?
It is true that the democratic victory of Hamas has been stolen, that the denial of its right to power has dangerously isolated the group. Nonetheless, a political struggle requires more vigilance and inventiveness in the case where adversity is large and resources are limited. In the case of Hamas, both are sorely missing.
Why do Hamas members feel they have to bid constantly, at the cost of their credibility and the survival of their own members? Why this obsession to remain misunderstood rather than to be understood? What do they earn by delaying the recognition of Israel? A playing card in the future negotiations? Isn’t it by recognizing the inevitable legitimacy of Israel that they will begin to exist?
On the other hand, what has the President of the Palestinian Authority gained in exchange for his complete submissiveness toward the U.S. and Israel? With concessions and handshakes, he achieved nothing more than his holding on power. He confused openness with surrender. He endangered the cohesion of his people. And, during that time, the corruption that had caused the electoral defeat of his party in Gaza, continues with impunity.
Meanwhile, what does a power like America expect by unconditionally supporting the Israeli policy? Besides a privileged relationship with a strategic partner, which is also the country that owns the biggest atomic arsenal in the Middle East? The major issue is: how the harvest of the Israeli-American policy of the past forty years is likely to confirm this choice? Three of its fundamental axes have continued to prove ineffective and dangerous:
1. The quest for political domination through the use of all-powerful military. In Iraq, as in the occupied territories, the equation did not work. Neither in 1991, during the first Gulf War nor the West Bank and Gaza one year later. Nor the past five years and the second Gulf War.
2. Unequivocal domination using the adage Divide and Conquer. In addition to its systematic policy of fragmentation and erosion of the occupied territories, there is indication that Israel feeds power to expel the dream of Israel's non-Jewish populations. Everywhere it advocates separation and dismembering of a region into many pieces.
The United States, by endorsing the policy of fragmentation fundamentally along religious lines with the risk of ethnic purification, has allowed the worst scenario where people have been coerced and forced to pile into ghetto-like cities. Is there any need to provide examples to say that the final result is the organization of death?
3. The establishment of all sorts of strategic manipulations instead of observing international law. In particular, the Oslo agreements have undermined the peace that they wanted.
How? By keeping all the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. By continuing to have a contemptuous attitude toward Palestinians (Arabs in general), seeking concession after concession, preferring to nibble a territory - a piece of Jerusalem here, a settlement there ... what would be the result at the end? A gradual transformation of a negotiable situation into an explosive one.
If Israel and the U.S. continue to deny the unspeakable humiliating outlook that drive their policies, then despair will continue to spread from country to country. And, in this escalation, every day is a day too much. If they persist to not answer the question why a young stone thrower in 1987, has been transformed into a human bomb seven years later?, then forgotten young lives will increasingly be candidates for death.
If they persist, Gaza, the infernal prison, will be the forerunner of our future and theirs.
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