Sunday, January 11, 2009

A brief response to responses I've received on my Gaza posts

I've had a couple of emails --very gently worded emails, I'll add-- from folks who gave me links to news articles expressing opinions that support the current conflict in Gaza. I appreciate both the gentleness of these emails and the intent behind them.

To set the record straight, I DO NOT support Hamas, but I understand why folks who are getting the crap bombed out of them by Israel would. I can understand where Safa Joudeh's anger is coming from as she waits for a bomb to hit her house (even though I would never pretend to understand what she's going through). As I said on my blog a couple of weeks ago, I am on the side of the guy who goes out to get groceries and gets blown to pieces. I could care less where he lives or how he identifies himself culturally, religiously, etc., and this is my objection to what is going on in Gaza. I ALSO object to Hamas chucking scuds into Israel... but the response has been COMPLETELY disproportionate, and has served to destabilize an area that was already pretty beaten down.

I have a masters in Conflict Resolution, not in International Relations (not that they're necessarily opposed, but they are very different in focus), and I don't pretend to be an expert on this particular conflict. My nature is to break things down to the obvious. The best way to incite hatred and send people running into the arms of the Guys with Guns is to bomb them. Kill, or even threaten, their children, and any parent will go running to whatever source of retaliation and defense is available to them. They're not asking where the guns came from. They're not asking if this group they're running to for security is to blame for what's going on in the first place. They are in survival mode, and they are going to go with anyone who helps them survive.

Employing this sort of warfare assumes an organized government... that if you "win" in this particular leg of the conflict, the organization on the other side of the conflict will put up the white flag and agree not to bother you anymore. But that's not what this is. Bombing Gaza to get at Hamas is like setting fire to the haystack to get at the needle. It's also ensuring that there will be plenty of people with keen memories of family members bombed to pieces who will gladly sign up for leadership positions within Hamas when the "leaders" are killed. IF they are.

I do not understand why more support isn't being given to the people who have worked so hard and so long for peace in this area. I keep saying read Marc Gopin's stuff at because he's representing the voice of sanity, and he has friends on both "sides" of the conflict. Who is invested in keeping the bloodshed going? WHY aren't the peacemakers' voices heard? When I think about what Rabbi Gopin is doing --has done for so many years-- I have to join him in his tears. Why isn't anyone listening? Why?? (and please, no one respond to me that this is the nature of man. True or untrue, that's an escapist B.S. argument that takes the responsibility off of people to work for the good.)

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