Thursday, July 24, 2014


I’m reading with wonder and amazement the various articles and, even more, so the commentary on those articles, about the Israeli actions in Gaza.  It appears that the Israelis have managed to piss off many folks around the globe. The disproportionate Palestinian death rate is of course to be expected since Hamas fighters don’t really fight. When approached by troops with guns, they fade into the shadows and push unarmed civilians out into the open. No, Hamas is at its best when firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel. 

Or, perhaps when they convince some young thing to don a dynamite vest, walk into a crowded marketplace and detonate the vest.  Makes me wonder what the relative death toll is—Israelis killing Muslims, or Muslims killing Muslims?

I have always been struck by the strategic calculus in play. At the beginning, in 1947-48 when the world agreed to establish a Jewish state after the Holocaust, the formal armies of the opposing Middle Eastern states—Jordan, Egypt, Syria, et al began attacking with regular army troops, tanks, planes, etc. That went on for about 20 years—say 1967 and the six-day war. It seems that those nation-states finally awoke to the cold reality that, each time they attacked Israel, they got quite bloody and generally lost some of their territory.  At some point, they must have decided collectively that attacking Israel frontally and with formal armies was a losing proposition. So, they withdrew their pseudo-armies from the field and elected a different strategy—throw civilians into the fray. Give civilians some arms and, especially, some rockets and let them harass Israel by firing indiscriminately so as to kill Jews wherever they could.  That game continues. 

And of course, throughout the Middle East, the anarchy continues with “civilians” using dynamite vested individuals, and now real arms, planes, tanks, missiles, to destabilize not only Israel, but all of the other states.  As a result, the entire region could best be described as anarchic. Adults no longer seem to be in charge anywhere, including Israel.

I wonder, how many people have to die before we conclude that too many people have died??
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