[quote=“Mucha Man”]Well, this is modern Israel in a nutshell. Netanyahu is a thug if ever there was one; witness his behavior even toward the US president when Obama dares to be anything other than supportive. Netanyahu is not a man of peace; As Peter Beinart has written, he favors the ideal of the Jew as warrior. This is sick in a country that is essentially a secular democracy.
I used to support Israel for the broad reasons it was a democratic state and a needed safehouse for the Jewish people, uniquely persecuted throughout history. But I don’t think anyone paying attention these past years can fail to notice that Israel has no intention of honoring any of its promises to building a two state solution, to dismantling the settlements, or to get past the apartheid system they have established in Gaza.
Israel has no interest in a peaceful solution. They also completely manufactured this present crises. The Israelis knew from the beginning the boys were dead and they also knew Hamas was not responsible. They whipped up the public none-the-less to support another round of violence. I have no interest in supporting this.
Read almost every fair-minded report from the area and you will hear the same refrain: Israel is not what it was and the conditions in Gaza are so sub-standard they have obviously fueled support for Hamas. As for whether Hamas is worse than Israel, that doesn’t really interest me. Israel is the secular democracy and ally of the west. If it wants to maintain that status it needs to change as its behavior is so far behind what we should accept, and what Americans especially, who give enormous aid, should accept.[/quote]
Wow. I’m a bit stunned here. I’m used to uninspired, trite one liners or sprays of links to fringe websites. I’m not sure how to respond to a cohesive, well-written rebuttal anymore.
But I’ll try. Israel has not committed to a two state solution. It’s one of the most controversial policies within Israel society, and Israelis are deeply divided on the subject and have been for decades. We can’t hold Israel’s feet to the fire to support a policy that it’s government has not agreed to. Nor has Israel agreed to stop all settlement activities.
Speaking of settlements, remember that Israel abandoned its colonies in Gaza several years ago. Did Hamas take this in good faith? No, they declared victory, staged a military march across the territory, burned down Israeli greenhouses (that were left in tact for the benefit of Palestinians), and promptly began using Gaza as a staging ground for rocket attacks and border raids. Why should Israelis believe that the Palestinians will react any differently if they abandon settlements in the West Bank?
Israel is in a no-win situation. If they show good faith and remove their occupying forces, the Palestinians take it as weakness, shoot rockets and kidnap young Israelis. If they show strength, then the world calls them brutes. Given the choices, I can’t blame Israelis for asserting control and standing their ground.
I have a great deal of sympathy for the Palestinian people. They basically live in huge, open air prisons. Many of their towns are surrounded by tall fences topped with razor wire, and patrolled by the IDF. They can’t travel without permits, and their activities are closely monitored. Apartheid is an apt description, a simple fact that most Americans are blissfully ignorant of. And yet, none of this justifies the wanton acts of violence that Palestinians regularly commit against Israelis, or a broadly popular political charter straight out of Mein Kampf.