Collateral damage

Rockets on Tel Aviv. Bomb alarm even in Jerusalem. The provocations of Hamas are meant to draw Israel into a war nobody should want. For Israel the world has dramaticaly changed since the Muslim Brotherhood rules Egypt and the US is too preoccupied with itself to consider armed support. The Arab Spring has changed the game. The overt support by Qatar for the Palestinians, a few weeks ago, was just the first sign of the growing confidence one can see comimng from the occupied terroitories. Who is going to stop Hamas anyway? Not Europe. Not America. Not Egypt, as it used to do under former president Mubarak. Certainly not the other neighbors who have enough problems at home to be a direct threat to Israel, but who will support any agression against the sworn enemy.
A war in the Gaza strip will mean thousands of killed citizens and great propaganda for Hamas. Many Israeli will also die. There will be no victor, only suffering. The collateral damage inflicted will be the shame for both the Israeli army and Hamas. Israel cannot accept its people being bombed, but it must not play the Hamas card. Creating martyrs is not even the start of a solution in this endless conflict. True, an alternative punishment or warning like economic sanctions will irritate the Palestinians and nurture a revolt. So what is the answer? The Arab League as peace keeper? Not likely, as the League is not able to make a fist. The UN? Too many members will vote in favor of the Palestinians. Then maybe the leaders of Qatar, who invest in Gaza not for the fragile towns and countryside to be bombed. New faces around the negociation table would be welcome.
I still believe it is possible: peace through a better economy, more work, some kind of (UN?) recognition, and of course respect from the stronger for the weaker. Respect as in no unnecessary humiliations, no more high walls, no more subtle provocation, no more rattling of arms. When will Israel show it is the wisest and morally strongest? A master does not need a gun. He needs good arguments, a clear head and an open mind. I know what the answer will be: if you would only be in our place you would think differently. Stop the army getting into Gaza and we’ll talk.

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