Friday, January 16, 2009

Peace in Gaza?

It is perfectly obvious to anyone who has looked into the situtation in Gaza that cease fires may come and cease fires may go, but the underlying problem between Hamas and Israel is probably going to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, if Israel has been successful in its recent incursion, it may be just enough to turn the tide against Hamas. The fact is that Israel's future is secure in the knowledge they possess a superior force against a ragtag group of terrorists with little training. What makes Hamas dangerous is not that they can inflict massive destruction to the Jewish State, but that they have the psychological advantage of depriving Israelis of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the things our forefathers sought for themselves and their posterity. What needs to be cemented in the thoughts of the Palestinians is that there is no future for themselves or their children if the philosophy of continued warfare is maintained. Someday they must pursue a course of peaceful coexistence or the bloodletting will continue. What Hamas does so well is act like terrorists. They instill fear among their own people and dozens of deaths during the recent fighting were attributed as murderous reprisals by Hamas against those they suspected of collaborating with Israel. That is troubling, but understandable. We've seen a number of regimes whose despots hold sway over their people through fear. The best recent example of that is Saddam Hussein. If the Israelis can lessen the hold of fear over the Palestinians by dispatching the most zealous of Hamas fighters in campaigns like this with little loss of life to their own forces (as they apparently have done), they may be able to bring about necessary change in Gaza. The key for the Israelis is to make themselves look less like murderous invaders than vanquishing liberators. That will be tough to do, but their survival and the possibility of living in peace with their neighbors seems like high enough stakes to warrant their actions.

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