September 19, 2014
Around the big top

Happy new war

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted 1/7/09

Well here we go again with a new year and of course, a new war.

Actually the war isn’t new, it’s been going on for a good fifty or so years, but the Palestinians and Israelites are once again killing each other.

There’s been calls for ceasefires from the United Nations, and neither side seems to really be willing to listen. Does anyone listen to the UN anymore?

Israel seems hell bent on destroying the radical Hamas Party that is operating in the Gaza Strip. For those of you who don’t know what Hamas is, it’s a political party that has, at times been elected to govern Palestine (Gaza Strip plus West Bank of the Jordan River), but it isn’t a very nice group of people, often calling for terrorism against Israel and not following potential peace agreements such as the Roadmap for Peace under the George W. Bush Administration or the Oslo Agreement, which was formed in 1993 while Clinton was in office. It also refuses to recognize Israel as an independent nation, so you can imagine Israelis don’t feel very welcome by Palestinians who support Hamas.

Even now, Hamas is firing rockets into Israel, even though the people in the Gaza Strip, the only part of Palestine where Hamas currently holds any power, are suffering badly due to their actions.

But Israel isn’t innocent in the whole matter. When Hamas fires rockets into Israel, keep in mind they are firing rockets over a “border” which is in truth more than a border, but a 40 foot wall that protrudes into land that is actually recognized as belonging to Palestine. This wall often cuts off highways that were used by Palestinians and stops them from accessing water supplies in the case of the West Bank Palestinians.

There have also been recorded events of Israeli soldiers, who solely patrol the borders between the two “nations” (one has to use that word lightly when describing these territories), stopping farmers headed into Gaza from transporting their products until they rot or even denying them access in and out of Palestine. Not to mention Israel has been called to withdraw from Gaza by treaties but refuses to.

And here lies the problem. When you turn on your TV, you will hear about half of the analysts saying Hamas is totally to blame for all this and that since some Israeli areas have to worry about the rockets, Israel is justified in its massive offensive its currently engaged in, targeting Hamas hot spots. Unfortuantely, though, these same people probably make no mention on the fact that there have been more children killed by the Israeli offensive than Israelites killed by the recent firing of Hamas rockets.

And for the analysts just saying Israel it out of control and not justified, well they have to understand that terrorism, even if it isn’t causing a massive number of casualties, is still terrorism. The leaders in Hamas obviously have no concern about the children who have been killed, as they keep firing the rockets, even though it is clear they are outmatched.

So what can be done to stop this? Unfortunately this has been an issue that no U.S. President has been able to tackle, because in the rare instance that a ceasefire is called, both sides take advantage of the ceasefire to plot an attack (Palestine, or Hamas) or act of oppression (Israel).

But something is rare about this fight right now. The fight is only on one front of Palestine. The West Bank, which has actually been even more controversial and violent due to its vicinity of Jerusalem, doesn’t have Hamas leaders, so it seems that there is no fighting (well, at least less fighting) going on there.

In a perfect world, which take a look around, we are far from, the leaders in the West Bank (Fatah Party, maybe, forgive me I’m not sure here), would put pressure on the people of the Gaza Strip to adopt their leadership and also put pressure on Israel to agree to withdraw its soldiers from the border and inside Gaza and the West Bank if the people oust Hamas (preferably without a military coup or radical terrorist attack).

Maybe then, and this is a huge maybe, Israel and Palestine can finally stop constantly murdering each other, and Israel and Palestine can come to some sort of agreement such as the Camp David Accords of the late 70’s, which, brace yourself, brought **peace between Israel and Egypt – an Islamic country.

Really, it’s going to take an effort like the Camp David Accords did as well. If we are ever going to get these countries to get along, whoever the President is that’s willing to do it will have to do the same thing Jimmy Carter did. Bring the leaders to Camp David and for days on end do nothing but focus on creating peace between the two countries.

Both sides will have to compromise, but something has to happen. Iranians are trying to get permission to suicide bomb Israel over the violence and Lebanon and other Islamic countries are starting to speak out and hint that they’ll get involved on the side of Gaza, which would no doubt motivate Palestinians in the West Bank to start shooting rockets as well, losing any stability there is between that side of Palestine and Israel.

And since the U.S. now supposedly has an ally in Iraq, you can bet they’d be involved, meaning you know who, the U.S. would be forced to get involved.

I don’t know about you, but I really think something drastic has to change, and soon. If you ask me, WWIII is looming on the horizon in the Middle East.

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