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Apres les falafels, le deluge?

Well, it took a couple of months, but finally happened. I hoped like hell it wouldn't, but it was pretty much inevitable. There has been a major terrorist attack in Israel, the first since Hamas took the reins of government in the Palestinian Authority. A suicide bomber attacked an Israeli restaurant, killing nine and wounding 60. And while it appears that Hamas didn't directly sponsor the attack, what has been their response?

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, "the resistance is a legal and natural reaction to the Israeli crimes, and the Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves."
Khaled Abu Hilal, a spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry, said the bombing was "a direct result of the aggression of the Israeli occupation policy. The Israelis are imposing a siege on the Palestinian people."

So, there you have it. Two official spokesmen for the Palestinian government have reaffirmed all the previous Hamas statements, that a formal state of war exists. No words of condemnation, no pledges to prevent further acts of aggression, just a simple restatement of the long-held Hamas belief that Israel needs to be obliterated.

And no longer is this the statement of a terrorist group, or even a political party. Hamas is now, for all intents and purposes, the legitimate government of the Palestinian people. They chose them to govern, to rule, to represent them, to speak on their behalf in free elections. (Well, as free as one could expect.) The Palestinian people have made their bed, and now they get to lie in it.

Their chosen leaders have publicly and forcefully restated their declaration of war, and hostilities have resumed. Israel has arrested the father of yesterday's suicide bomber, but would be fully justified in accepting Hamas' declaration and waging war right back at them. Because the words of a government mean a great deal more than the words of terrorists. The threats of a state are much more serious than those of a terrorist group.

And, perhaps, this would be a good thing, in the long run. The status quo has been going on too long, with people dying in drips and drabs for decades, little fits and starts of violence and death that in the end change everything. Perhaps a refresher to all parties just what war -- real, declared, hard-fought war -- tastes like will finally get the leaders -- those that survive -- to finally work out a settlement to this open sore on the world, one that has festered for almost 60 years.

Damn me for almost wishing for a war. And damn those people who let the situation get so bad, go so long, without resolution.


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Comments (24)

Despite this attack, Norway... (Below threshold)

Despite this attack, Norway is considering sending diplomats to talk to Hamas.

Norway caved in quickly when one of their papers reprinted the Mohammed Cartoons. I see their capitulation to the Hamas PA as rolling over on their backs and explosing their bellies in fear.

Mr. Carter and Mr. Clinton ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Mr. Carter and Mr. Clinton must be very proud of their accomplishments in that arena.

*shakes head*Jay T... (Below threshold)

*shakes head*

Jay Tea, you need to learn to speak with tolerance and understanding. You are only encouraging the cycle of violence to continue. The Palestinians Israel just need to sit down and talk it out. Your way will lead to even more killing.

After all, the Palestinians have a history almost as long and complex as the Jews. They deserve their own homeland, too.

I'm sure if we all just hold hands and sing Kumbaya together then everything will be alright.

Israel makes concession aft... (Below threshold)

Israel makes concession after concession and this is the thanks they get. So it is with all appeasers. It is a cautionary tale.

Despite this attac... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
Despite this attack, Norway is considering sending diplomats to talk to Hamas.

Their Viking ancestors in Valhalla must be very disappointed. But then again, this isn't the most cowardly thing that the Norwegians have done in the last 100 years or so.

As a full-blooded Norwegian... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

As a full-blooded Norwegian, I'm deeply offended! We gave you all your land back centuries ago! And, look what you do with it.

Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbaya


Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbaya

Didn't Israel just forceful... (Below threshold)

Didn't Israel just forcefully remove a bunch of Israelis from that land the Palestinians want? Do people really still believe that the Palestinians can be reasoned with? The Arab world supposedly hates the US for their support of Israel, but from what I have seen it is the US's foreign policy that has kept Israel for making a push to all out genocide. It seems to me that everytime Israel gets slapped in the face and starts respond the US yanks their leash. I say we let Israel handle their negotiations with the paleosimians, and everybody else stay out of it.

Israel has been soaking up ... (Below threshold)
Undocumented Infidel:

Israel has been soaking up casualties for decades, how can we hypocritically expect them not to retaliate?

When the bombers eventually strike here, and they will, should the Israelis be allowed to tell us we need to stand down, that any action on our part will only hurt us in the long run?

Israel is a sovereign, democratic nation and should be recognized as having a full right to protect their citizens. We would and have done no less.

Amen to that and the soone... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Amen to that and the sooner the better..

If israel had moved into da... (Below threshold)
madmatt:

If israel had moved into dallas 50 years ago and kicked out all the locals and said this is a jewish holy land, would texans of walked away? Why shouldn't the palestinians fight in the only available way they have? I am sure they would rather have an air force to drop bombs on israel, but in the words of GWB you fight with the army you have

The Palestinian "State" doe... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The Palestinian "State" does have one positive thing to offer.

All the other politicians of the other failed States get to say, "Geez, at least we aren't as f'd-up as the Palestinians!"

So, they got that going for them.

Madmatt, then by your reaso... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Madmatt, then by your reasoning Israel should have the power and the RIGHT to defend its citizens just as vehmently.

Israel should drive the Palestinians into the Med or Jordan or to Egypt. Drive them away and annex all of the territory taken under the rules of war.

Madmatt, Rumsfeld ... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

Madmatt,

Rumsfeld said that, not GWB.

Jews began buying that land long ago. They have annexed everything else. They are not obligated to give anything back. The Palestinians want to destroy Israel, not protect thier own citizens.

[holding hands with Silverb... (Below threshold)

[holding hands with Silverbubble and singing Kumbaya]

I think you're all missing ... (Below threshold)
Blue Patriot:

I think you're all missing the real action here:
Israel is waiting this one out. They're going to give the Palestinians (civilians, not leaders) a break in the cycle of violence, and there will be 3rd party talks held.
Hopefully, some progress will be made, but if not, then the next time a bomber goes of in Tel Aviv, It wouldn't surprise me if the Israelis push right down through Gaza, bulldozing as they go.
This restraint being shown by Israel is giving them huge returns in public opinion, and will turn up the backlash against Hamas. Good strategy.

Of course, being a liberal, I still belive that it's hard to complain when your belly is full. There should be some public work projects and food aid sponsored by Israel as a show of good faith. Welcome Hamas out of the closet, so to speak.

Madmatt, Rumsfeld ... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

Madmatt,

Rumsfeld said that, not GWB.

Jews began buying that land long ago. They have annexed everything else. They are not obligated to give anything back. The Palestinians want to destroy Israel, not protect their own citizens.


Madmatt's argument does not... (Below threshold)
Railroad Stone:

Madmatt's argument does not advocate Israeli or Palestinian aggression. It's about displaced people, and their motivation.

i.e. If you get kicked out of your homeland, it's going to be many generations before you get over it.

To clarify the thinking in ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

To clarify the thinking in the last few posts, there has never been a Palestinian state until now.

There was no "homeland" they were thrown out of in the sense of having a country and then being removed.

Now that they have essentially as "state," they are doing the thing they've done for their history, they are screwing it up.

Kicked out of respectable Middle East countries for a reason--reflect on what they did in Jordan.

Shrapnel is what killed Phi... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Shrapnel is what killed Phillip Balhasan, who stayed alive long enough to realize his children had survived, and to hug them tightly before he collapsed.
But even this is not enough for the terrorists. They also soak the shrapnel in rat poison, because it causes hemorrhaging -- victims may bleed to death before they can get to the hospital.

Remember all of this, when you hear the world tell Israel to "use restraint" in responding to this attack.


The victims:

David Shaulov, 29, from Holon
Philip Balhasan, 45, from Ashdod
Victor Erez, 60, from Givataim
Binyamin Chafuta, 47, from Lod
Lily Yunes, 42, from Oranit
Rosalia Basnia, 48, a Romanian foreign worker
Bodha Piroshka, 50, a Romanian foreign worker
Ariel Darhi, 31 from Bat Yam
Marcel Cohen, 73, from Nice, France

Anyone who studies history ... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Anyone who studies history will know that the "Jordyptians" had no state as such; nor did either Jordan or Egypt give them lands or help them when those two countries controlled significant parts of the area now known as "Palestine".

If Olmert has a pair, he will:

a) finish the Wall;

b) exclude any "Palestinian" from either living or working inside Israel, unless they are a naturalised Israeli citizen;

c) refuse to do business with Hamas or any Palestinian government agency or private company that has not explicitly acknowledged Israel's right to exist, and sworn off terrorism; and

d) declare war on "Palestine", its "government", and its people, the very next time any splodeydope triggers a bomb or a Pali fires off a Qassam rocket to injure or kill Israelis inside their borders.

Seems like the bleeding heart crowd forgets how "Palestine" is an apartheid state, as it does not allow Jews to live or work there.

And "madmatt" is justifying suicide bombers on the basis of a Rummy quote taken out of context? Fine. Let Israel give a well-aimed Hellfire to the Palestinians in return for every splodeydope or Qassam the palis give to Israel.

Hamas, et. al. wish to be martyrs? Fine. Let Israel make martyrs of every last damnable one of them.

Iran wishes to "wipe Israel off the map" with a nuclear IRBM? Fine. Let Israel turn Khan Younis and Tehran into glass, and show them all what Allah, great "Lord" of little boy buggery and little girl rape, has to borrow from Yahweh (remember, it was Jewish scientists that invented the Bomb, and Islamic scientists who had to borrow plans for the Bomb from others to get their own...pitiful Allah can't even get his own believers to be smart enough to invent it by themselves).

I think it is the height of hypocrisy that Palestinians hate Israel, but beg for the right to work in Israel. Can't all powerful Allah provide for his own people? Oh, that's right, he did...he showed them how to sell crude oil to the world.

Wait, scratch that: it was the West that developed middle eastern crude oil reserves, not the nomadic barbarian peoples who lived there at the time (1930's on).

Those people were stuck in the twelfth century, which hadn't yet been exposed to crude oil as a means to fuel a modern world.

At the very least, I hope a well-trained Mossad sniper assassinates a number of Palestinian and Hamas leaders equal to every person killed in Tel Aviv the other day, from Abu Mazen on down.

Please. Bring. It. On.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh loooooooorrrr... (Below threshold)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh loooooooorrrrrrrrrd, Kumbaya!

To clarify Mitchell's think... (Below threshold)
Railroad Stone:

To clarify Mitchell's thinking, The Palestinians have spent their entire history screwing up the homeland they didn't actually have until now.

I'll have to reflect on that, Zen Master Mitchell.

Wanderlust, get a girlfriend. Nobody getting laid has the energy to deliver rants like that.

Hmm... speaking of displaci... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Hmm... speaking of displacing people in Texas (or America as a whole), how are those native americans doing these days anyway?

See, sooner or later, they're just going to have to say ok, we've f'ked up, you've f'ked up, it's all f'ked up - let's just sit down and try and make the best of it.

I mean, I'm wrong to make that comparison with America. I'm not saying they're hypocrits so we shouldn't listen to them, but just that if this is going to work, we need to leave the past in the past, focus on the present situation and work out what's best for the future. It will take forgiveness, compromise and tolerance - perhaps too much for both sides. But it's the only way it would work as far as I can see...

But that root has to be better than the continuation of violence.

I meant route... sorry - in... (Below threshold)
Tony:

I meant route... sorry - in a hurry




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