Today we awake to a complete and unconditional cease fire between Hamas and Israel. Yea. It is better than killing, and I am grateful. Now, let's look at reality for a moment.
Please re-read my last post. Everything in there has held up to be solid, correct analysis.
So here are basic facts that everyone must assert against memes and tweets.
1) The legitimate political protests about questions like housing policies in East Jerusalem were hijacked by Hamas in this conflict. Protests in Jerusalem, debate and advocacy in Israel and the international community were all part of a healthy democracy (Israel) struggling to address the needs of its citizens and residents.
2) By launching rockets, Hamas stole the attention away from the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and made it about war instead of peace. Do you really believe that 2,000 missiles fired at Israeli towns is a legitimate response to the pending eviction of 6 families from Jewish owned buildings in East Jerusalem? Hamas did this intentionally and knowingly, sacrificing any likely Arab party joining the Israeli government, and destroying any chance that peaceful protests could continue.
3) Measuring the number of deaths as a yard stick for justice is grotesque and stupid. Israeli towns spent the last 7 years since Hamas' 2014 missile attacks building more bomb shelters and defensive missile interceptors. Hamas spent those years building rockets and hiding them in civilian population centers. Of course more Palestinians died as a result. Every civilian innocent death is terrible. But tell me why the numbers are so different. Be real. There is no such thing as "proportional response" against Hamas' military missile barrage against Israeli citizens. Would Israel shooting 2000 missiles randomly back at Palestinian towns be more acceptable because it is "proportional?" Or is Israel meant to just sit back and absorb the attacks until Hamas runs out of missiles? Give me a break.
Every person who wants genuine peace for Israel for Palestine should work to create a peaceful Palestine. Hamas is the biggest problem in the equation.
- The West Bank's Palestinian Authority should be supported and encouraged to re-establish democratic norms through elections with the support of the International Community.
- Hamas should be disarmed as a condition of large scale international aid to rebuild the destruction in Gaza.
- And a national commission should be formed to investigate the internal violence in mixed towns within Israel over the past two weeks, prosecuting violent attackers no matter who they are.
And yes, the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood which provided part of the spark for this war is a legitimate issue, highly relevant to ongoing policies of land development and land reclamation in and around Jerusalem. Minimizing it will not make it go away.
The essential inequity of the Sheikh Jarah case does not lie in the court rulings to assert Jewish ownership from pre-1948 buildings in East Jerusalem. Those rulings are correct, even if unhelpful. The real inequity lies in the fact that there is no equal and reciprocal law for Palestinians to do the same on the other side of Rte 60. As long as the law is written only for one side, the courts will have to rule in favor of a system of inequality and the unrest and protest will continue to grow.
For now, the war is over. Welcome that, but work for peace.