It does not merely depress me that two weeks ago, in my post entitled "Time Warp", I wrote:
IMHO, Israel's government has, for its own domestic political purposes (how widely reported here is it that an Israeli general election is scheduled for February 10, 2009?) decided to "get tough on Hamas," which, of course, has certainly been trying to provoke something like this for as long as it has controlled Gaza. And so, much will be blown up, many will be killed or wounded, and at some point (presumably before January 20th), "military objectives will have been achieved," and, well... "calm" will be restored, which, of course, is the same utterly psychotic "status quo"
And, of course, today, less than three days from the moment Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th American President, Israel has unilaterally declared a cease-fire (Hamas promises to fight one)... the Grey Lady's report notes:
After 22 days of war against Hamas, and the deaths of more than 1,200 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted that “we have reached all the goals of the war, and beyond.”
And so... Israel has reached all the goals of the war. And notwithstanding this, Hamas has pledged to fight on... and presumably, will do so.
And so one must ask just what those goals were... now that there are over 1,200 Gazans (and 13 Israelis)dead (and thousands of Gazans wounded)... one must ask again when among the dead are three daughters and a niece of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, whose house came under Israeli fire... Abuelaish, a peace activist, is one of the few Gazans permitted to regularly cross to the Israeli side to work as a physician on both sides of the Israel/Gaza border.
Congratulations, geniuses. One of the few Palestinians of any stature who genuinely believes in the prospects for peaceful coexistence, and you've gone ahead and targeted his house, and killed three of his daughters. Way to go.
No one has suggested that Israel should simply permit Hamas to launch rockets willy nilly at Israeli civilians and do nothing about it... but most (not all, but nearly all), hit nothing... and now, weeks into an all-out bombardment by air, sea and ground-forces on a densely packed Third World enclave... and Hamas is still launching rockets at Israel... one must ask again of Israeli leadership... just what exactly have you all accomplished here with this kind of wildly disproportionate response? This is exactly the same question asked after the Lebanon war of a couple of years ago... it seems that under the soon-to-be-out-of-office Bush Administration, is either the United States or Israel capable of acting in their own interests any more?
That question just has to be asked. You'all might consider making peace with Syria (where both Hamas and Hizbollah are headquartered)... if you're seriously interested in an actual long-term normalcy ("peace" seems too much to ask for.) Or... feel free to go on with the insanity.