Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Israel and the Middle East Revisted

Politics, U.S., People Making A Difference, Economy

Israel has gone into the Gaza Strip with boots on the ground.  Israel has done this before, as well, but those incursions haven’t seemed to do much more than stem the violence for a period only to see it back in vogue later.

Is there a fair and final approach that ends these back and forth accusations?  Many have thought that peace could be achieved only to return months or years later recognizing the differences between these two peoples are greater than they thought.

We in the West have our pre-conceived notions about Israel.  We, for the most part, are supporters of the Jewish state.  We cannot seem to understand the hatred that the Palestinians have for the Jews and vice versa.  We send “statesmen” who have titles such as the Secretary of State or Vice President or even President.  And we wonder why this doesn’t seem to pull everyone up short and force them to the bargaining table yet again.  We don’t recognize our loss of stature; we seemingly refuse to recognize our loss of stature in this part of the world.

We appear to be largely clueless.  The entirety of the Middle East is a powder keg awaiting the spark that ignites the entire region.  I don’t recall a time any more contentious in that area than today.  I do recall any number of military solutions that saw Israel emerge on top of the heap after a few days or weeks.  I see the Middle East as now in shambles so far as someone or some country capable of pulling the disparate elements together around a table.

Rather than to have made things better in the past decade, things are at least as unstable or more unstable than they were ten years ago.  The race for weaponization is going full tilt.  Nuke weapons either are already available or soon will be available.  The Muslims and the Jews are at loggerheads just as has been the case for hundreds of years.

The United States is nowhere near as strong a world leader as it once was.  We have embarrassed ourselves in recent situations.  Benghazi did nothing to repair our image.  The snubbing of Israel’s Prime Minister by our President did nothing to repair our image.  Syria and Egypt and Iran and Saudi Arabia all have individual agendas most of which fly in the face of the agenda of each of the others.  Russia helps keep things off balance.  China is no doubt playing in this part of the world, too.  North Korea is potentially at work here as well.

How will this all play out?  No one knows.  Will this latest provocation by Hamas run its course and fizzle or will it finally succeed in blowing the top off this part of the world?  Will Israel succumb to the demands of the “free world” and withdraw after they’ve found and destroyed the current weapons caches and collapsed the tunnels or will they become a more or less permanent occupying force?

Where will the United States be?  That remains to be seen, as well.  If I were sitting in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, I wouldn’t be feeling too good about things today or tomorrow for that matter.  And I wouldn’t place too much stock in America.

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