Israel is NOT being wanton with its aggression against Hamas as some writers have stated e.g., Stephen Lendman's article. Israel is surrounded by hostile Arab nations who want to exterminate the Jewish state, which was founded "tooth and nail" in 1948. Arabs would love it if no Jews were in the Mid-East area. Jews would be ecstatic if there were no Arabs to contend with.
Israel fights every day for its very survival as a nation and culture. What Israeli leaders and Arabs like Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin may say means very little based on the history of these endless conflicts, statements and promises. Both sides say they want peace and throughout the past several generations there have been attempts at various truces; however, in a short while both sides toss aside the truce and begin to fight again. It has been this way since 1948.
One of the problems is that there is no accountability for either side. If the U.S. were to take the lead and engage World and Mid-East nations in real ONGOING table discussions and with the threat of economic sanctions as accountability, we may actually see the start of real peace in the region. In truth it will take generations of peaceful discussion to achieve any lasting peace.
President George Bush unfortunately has taken sides completely with Israel. In doing so he has added to the problems, anger and conflicts between Israel and Palestine as well as the rest of the Arab nations.
It is both Arabs and Jews who can NOT get past the anger, prejudices, hatred and warring instincts in order to achieve some sort of real peace in the Mid-East. It's just not going to happen without some real intelligent and reality-based effort. Both groups have the right to live there and both have created undo hardships and travesties against each other. Innocent people on each side have died and/or suffered great tragedies. There needs to be an ONGOING peace table negotiation among Mid-East nations — NOT just during hard times, but ALL THE TIME so that communications are continuous and conflicts are dealt with right away before they become escalated into chaos.
The U.S. should not "take sides". We need to become a more neutral pressure to facilitate peace in that region if it ever will happen. However, we do need to support each nation in their efforts to coexist. If it were up to the Arab states they would kick Israelis into the sea and reclaim all the current Israeli land without hesitation or violence. The Israelis would be happy to exterminate the Arabs at their borders.
The U.S. has botched relations with other countries, e.g., our close neighbor of Cuba. Isn't the embargo the most ridiculous policy we have? Well, maybe next to "bailing-out" industries, waging a TRILLION dollar no-win war in Iraq and keeping friendly relations with Saudi Arabia who was not held accountable for the 9/11 terrorists who had ties to the Saudi government. We have a long way to grow; hopefully, we will start to change with President Obama — for the better.
Israel, Palestine and other Arab nations will continue to fight among themselves because each side firmly believes they must eliminate the opposition completely, that there is no room for peaceful coexistence. They also don't communicate well with each other.
What you stated about the "democracies" also may be stated about providing arms and weapons, which we do for Jews and Arabs.
As for military proximity to the Mid-East, we also have bases in Turkey, Iraq, Greece, Egypt, etc., etc. All are minutes away via jet fighters and missile launchers to the Mid-East areas, so we really don't need Israel as much as that nation needs us.
It's a real plight and travesty for the common people who just want to live their lives in peace and yet they also have the hatred and prejudices that the leaders have.
The only way for any improvement in the Mid-East region is [as I stated before] to force Jewish and Arab leaders to sit down at a table at least once every 2 weeks to discuss various economic, political and social issues that effect their relations BEFORE they may escalate into warfare. There must be an agreed upon mediator to facilitate these meetings in which the main objective is to open communications, acknowledge similar living styles and needs, deescalate any conflicts and thus attempt to maintain peaceful relations.
To date the U.S. and the rest of the world have failed in this attempt. It is obvious that Israel and Palestine can NOT workout their differences and anger issues. Opening communications by sitting together every 2 weeks is a start to negotiate more of a peaceful coexistence between Israel and other Arab nations.
Peter Stern of Driftwood, Texas, a former director of information services, university professor and public school administrator is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a disabled Vietnam veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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