Taide’s Weblog

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Bloody Postcards from the Middle East

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The end of the year was an adequate time for Hamas and Israel to end the truce (or whatever that agreement was really about). At a time when people wish each other a peaceful new year, they are reminded that there are places which are not peaceful at all.
It doesn’t look like if either side had kept to the “truce” anyway. Hamas kept firing Qassam rockets into Israel, and Israel kept the borders of the Gaza strip closed for much or most of the time – and whatever bits of a Palestinian “economy” exist are squashed by blockades.
The current Israeli raids on the Gaza strip seem to reflect both the strengths and weaknesses of a government’s accountability to its people. Israel’s government can’t afford to keep the borders to Gaza open despite the rocket fire by Hamas (or its proxies). It has to act to protect its people, or at least to leave the impression that it does protect them. Such an obligation is good in many ways, but not necessarily in this conflict. The current raids make no difference between perpetrators and innocents. They have killed hundreds of Palestinians, and injured many more, according to Knut Dethlefsen, representative for the Friedrich-Ebert foundation in the Palestinian territories. And they are unlikely to finish Hamas off.
Israel’s government doesn’t assume its responsibilities either – the settlements in the West Bank keep growing. But at least Israel’s government can be held accountable by the people at home, and it has to mind their interests.
It could have been helpful if Fatah had put the Palestinian people’s interest before its own during the past decades. It could be very helpful now if the Hamas rulers put their peoples’ interests and well-being first, rather than their Islamist agenda. Hamas appears to be looking at the Palestinian people as a tool, rather than as a people.
Arsonists make weird fire detectors.

Written by taide

January 2, 2009 at 5:41 am

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