Flurry of news and opinion stories…let’s see
In the meantime, there are reports that Hamas is stealing aid and selling it to the residents. This bodes poorly for the 3 hours of aid and ceasefire the Israelis are promising. (The lull apparently didn’t last more than a few minutes)
The opinions have been coming all over the place. Bibi himself had a column in the Wall Street Journal with a haunting opening:
Imagine a siren that gives you 30 seconds to find shelter before a Kassam rocket falls from the sky and explodes, spraying its lethal shrapnel in all directions. Now imagine this happens day after day, month after month, year after year.
That certainly would suck, there is no doubt about it and would certainly be more than just nagging. Boston.com has a photo journal of the situation (warning- some graphic pics) that will break your heart for both sides. Daphna Golan writes in Haaretz calling for a Peace Strike. Thomas Friedman tries to put it in perspective at the New York Times, seeing the Palistineans as pawns of the Iranians. Abu Marzook took up the voice of Hamas in a LA Times Article:
But, of course, options remained available. Israel might have relented months ago, for the sake of the truce, in its criminal determination to starve Gaza, cutting off much of its fuel and choking all commerce to a trickle, blocking relief organizations from delivering food and medicine, and consigning Gaza’s citizens to famine rations. Only the most cynical observer would call this grinding attrition “good faith” adherence to the truce. Blockades, after all, are explicitly acts of war.
Alvaro Vargas Llosa penned a piece on just how crappy Israeli politicians are these days, Jonathan Freedland at the Guardian speculated about how the incursion will help Hamas, Robert Fisk had his say in the independent:
Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 â€“ when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel â€“ is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer.
Egypt announced a ceasefire plan though neither side has been all that interested in ceasing the fire.
In other news, Muffti is off to the gym and then his office hours. Yesterday, one of his former students (an Iranian who got an A in his class) brought him some home made baklava. Proof that good jewish-arab relations are lo rack chalom.