Friday, May 18, 2007

Middle East reflections

Violence Continues in Gaza - From The New York Times
Following repeated Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets, and an Israeli response:
Hamas vowed revenge on Israel. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the group’s military wing, said, “The Zionist enemy is launching an open war against Hamas. So reprisal options are open, including self-sacrifice operations.”

His suggestion of a renewal of suicide bombings by Hamas, which has not carried any out inside Israel since 2004, was not confirmed by other Hamas officials.

He added that rocket attacks would continue against “the Zionist settlers.” Sderot is inside Israel proper, but Hamas regards any Israeli as an illegal settler on land that Allah supposedly gave to the Muslims in perpetuity.

For all the focus on Israel as occupier--and there is no good occupation--the problem is more fundamental, and leftist anti-Zionist critics of Israel are mostly reluctant to own up to it. Hamas, and like constituencies, really do not want "to all get along." Their goal is not two states living in peace alongside one another, following an end to the occupation. Any real-world assessment of Israel's situation must start there. I continue to favor, and hope for, movement toward a two-state solution, but cannot abide woolly-headed (and often disingenuous) assertions that all problems flow from Israel's post-67 occupation. Some do, but far from all.

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