Curtain Raiser

Bombs Can’t Settle Conflict, Colltalers

The bombs are falling over Gaza again, and we still refuse to believe that there isn’t a damned thing anyone can do about it. We may as well brace ourselves for all sort of grim scenarios playing on ahead.
Everything but a way to a negotiated solution, which would include equal measures of security for both sides, and a no-nonsense path for that old classic that has never been given the time of the day: a two-state solution.
For no amount of air strikes and carnage will be able to force peace down the throats of both Palestinians and Israelis. And no measure of political obliviousness will exempt the U.S. from responsibility in the conflict.
First, the party line. Israel has the right to exist, defend itself, and do whatever its citizenry decides to support, in order to guarantee its survival. End of the party line.
There’s no possibility of a level plain field, though, when it comes to military aggression. The infinitely superior Israeli Army will always have the upper hand when fighting a rag-tag group of missile operators, no matter how dangerous they may be at times.
But, let’s be frank. There are many reasons to feel utterly sad for the fate of the Palestinian people, not the least of it having to live under the incompetent and irresponsible leadership of either Hamas or the Hezbollah.
These organizations both have proved that they won’t stop at anything to consolidate their political legitimacy, even to the cost of thousands of lives. And neither have effectively advance the cause of those under their charge.
Also, if it’s true that most serious discussions towards a Palestinian state have been greeted by the institutionalized paranoia that has dominated Israeli politics, Hamas has also failed to articulate any credible diplomatic outreach effort to seek new political alliances in the region and beyond.
As it stands, Israelis and Palestinians have a brand new round of sleepless nights and funerals to attend in the weeks ahead, and despite all the spilled blood and despair, their sacrifice is likely to contribute little to a permanent, peaceful solution.
As for Americans, who’re preparing for a short week topped by the busiest shopping day of the year and, oh yes, Thanksgiving too, there’s another war to ignore, waged as if they’re as interested a party as those who’re bound to die in it.
But no matter the obliviousness, both from U.S. citizens who, after all, have their own thousands of relatives to fear for, fighting thousands of miles away from home, and from a bruised but reelected president, it’s virtually impossible to ignore the fact that this war as any is a gain only to itself and to those who profit from it.
For Palestinians and Israelis already grieving and paying with their own lives for everybody else’s failure to avoid another cycle of misery and destruction, our deepest, most heartfelt sorrow.
One may argue that the Israeli electorate has, perhaps, the biggest challenge of their democracy, in the coming Jan. 22 parliamentary elections: that of change the recent history of their country for the better. For those who live in it, and for those who depend on its open borders and economy.
For at the end of the day, the fate of these two nations has been intertwined for the past three thousand-plus years, and nothing indicates that that will change, let alone for the better and even worse, by the force of weapons.
If there’s any hope for such a conflicted region to join the 21st century once and for all, with the promise of a peaceful future, then the first order of the day is to depose those same weapons and break bread with its neighbors.
As for Americans, this week may have a special meaning after all, if among the things we share and thank for with our friends and relatives, there’s also the wish for a quick resolution for yet another flareup of an endless cycle of violence. Be good and take care. WC

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