Saturday, December 27, 2008

War in Gaza

Israel has struck Gaza with an unprecedented series of attacks, killing nearly 200 people, most of whom were Hamas operatives. The attacks have sparked massive protest among Palestinians and Palestinian sympathizers living in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

Obviously, this situation is too complicated to just lay down a blanket judgment on either side. If this operation doesn't lead to any concrete progress toward eliminating Hamas or driving them from power, but instead leads to an exacerbation of tension and an increase in terrorist recruitment, which I fear it will, then clearly it will have been a mistake. If this operation leads to high civilian casualties, then that is a tragedy that must be recognized and condemned.

But let's think about it from Israel's perspective for a second. Israel has been bombarded by homemade rockets from Gaza for years now, even after Israel completely pulled out of there and allowed the Palestinians to choose their own government. Unfortunately, since the Palestinians chose a group of murderous, hateful, extremist thugs to rule them, peace has not been forthcoming. Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been caught in the middle, and really, it was only a matter of time before the whole situation blew up like this. I'm not at all convinced that a massive invasion was the answer, but Israel did have to respond somehow.

We'll have to wait and see how this all shakes out. War is never something you want to see, especially when civilians are caught in the middle.