Mar 06 2008
The crisis in the Palestinian territory of Gaza appears to be an insoluble tragedy, made all the more tragic as it appears to be self-inflicted, at least according to some of Canada’s own local observers. Further developments this week highlight the differences in perspectives of the conflict amongst the Israelis and Palestinians.
The unending rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel’s home territory have caused some Israelis in the cities hit by the attacks to demand a response from their government. Israeli forces have indeed responded with strong action this week, killing both rocket-launching militants and civilians living in the area where the militants launch their attacks.
While debate still rages in Israel about how to wage effective security operations against terrorists that use their own neighbors and families as human shields, there are no celebrations in Tel Aviv when the reports inevitably come in of civilians dying in the crossfire in Gaza.
Contrast this with the response on the streets of Gaza to an attack by Palestinian gunmen at a rabbinical seminary that killed eight people. At mosques in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip, many residents performed prayers of thanksgiving — only performed in cases of great victory to thank God. About 7,000 Gazans marched in the streets of Jebaliya, firing in the air in celebration, and visited homes of those killed and wounded in the last Israeli incursion. In the southern town of Rafah, residents distributed sweets to moving cars, and militants fired mortars in celebration.The Palestinian leadership in Gaza, Hamas, characteristically blessed the massacre as a great victory for their people.
Which begs the question: What’s with the lovefest in much of the West for the Islamist “resistance”? Since a two-state solution in Israel and the Palestinian territories is seen as pretty much inevitable by anyone hoping for or working towards ending this conflict, why do so many people – outside of the Middle East, in places like Canada – want to ensure the jihadis get a seat at the negotiating table? Can the jihadis really serve any other function than spoiler?