March 14, 2012
They line up for that extreme position. First it was the PLO. Then the PFLP. Then the PA (Palestinian Authority) – each becoming officially moderate, as the next took its place. You realise, of course, that this is just ‘poli-speak’. The borders were just being stretched to greater extremism. Hamas was next. Then it was/is Islamic Jihad. Now it’s the extreme or right-wing factions of Islamic Jihad which are breaking the various ceasefires.
Yesterday, Egypt brokered yet another fragile ceasefire. It will not last long. No secret in that. This mess WILL continue; over a million Israelis will continue to live in fear of the rain of rockets (over 700 recently), and many more Palestinians will die from what is meant to be targeted attacks by Israel. That status quo is far better than the alternative, which is another costly all-out Israeli attack and/or invasion (costly in every way).
Right now, around 20% of the rockets from Gaza actually fall IN Gaza. So they terrorise their own. Another large percentage fall harmlessly in open areas. 90% of the rest are intercepted by the Iron Shield system, which targets only those that are headed for potentially damaging areas. Each defensive rocket costs around $50,000. In many cases, 2 rockets are sent up to intercept just 1 Gazan rocket. That’s $100,000 each time! Yes, Obama helped pay for this – but for how long?
Happily, the system is so good, that there are potential export orders on the way for this Israeli technology. That’s important in these strange days.
But 10% of those dangerous rockets do get through, and if/when there is serious Israeli loss of life, what then?
You’re waiting for the moderate in me to suggest yet another compromise. Forget it. The Arab uprisings that are appearing all over the place are reminding us
That the individual is able to see that a better life is possible, is just around the corner, and that Israel is not necessarily the cause of their woes
That the said brain-washing of recent generations in the Arab World is so oppressive, that many still cannot see the peace and prosperity that is before their very eyes.
In the Palestinians’ case, they hate the fact that their neighbour, who has lived in the same area for the same period of time has, despite every effort to destroy them, has not only survived, but lives in relative peace and prosperity. Of course there are problems in Israel. They are greater than the average Western society.
But, considering the environment of the area, it is quite incredible what has been built here. We have welcomed a variety of visitors to Israel in recent months, and one thing they all have in common is that Israel surprised them; never could imagine the place that met them at every corner.
Yet down the road, just 40 kms. from Tel Aviv, the same land, same beaches, same weather, has festered to the extent that Gaza has.
Yes, it is now a form of vicious circle. But to blame Israel for this is just stupid. Come here and see.