Last week, I wrote an article in which I referred to my father — a peaceful, liberal man who taught me about the struggles of the powerless and oppressed. I said:
It was, he taught me, because the people who are fighting in this way have no other recourse; they’re powerless and lashing out the only way they can. They are terrorists because they have to be; sticks against guns, or David against Goliath.
I was writing at the time about Iraq, but the people my father was referring to all those years ago were the Palestinians.
My father’s words haunted my sleep last night, evoked by images of dirt mounds and barbed wire erected in Gaza to slow the advance of the IDF.
What, I wanted to ask him, is Goliath to do when David has graduated from throwing rocks to rockets? When David has elected, by overwhelming popular vote, a government that is sworn to attack Goliath? When negotiations are accompanied — endlessly — by the sound of bombs and guns?
David has long-since outgrown the sandals of an innocent fighting against oppression, and Polimom’s sympathy for the Palestinians is exhausted.
An editorial in this morning’s NY Times says:
Contrary to the hopes of many outsiders, five months in government has failed to educate Hamas to the reality of the world the Palestinians live in. Hamas has merely assumed the political privileges of power without accepting the minimal responsibilities that go with it.
If things go on like this, Palestinians can look forward to endless rounds of reckless Hamas provocations and inexorable Israeli responses. That is why things must not be allowed to go on like this. It is not just Israel that needs to be delivering that message to Hamas.
Unlike many, Polimom was not hopeful about the future in Israel / Palestine after the Hamas election in January. They were — and are — quite clear about their inflexible position toward Israel. Unfortunately for the Palestinian people, however, Hamas was more naive than even I thought.
Hamas and the Palestinians seem to have been reassured by Goliath’s extreme restraint over the decades, evidently not understanding that there’s a world of difference between the actions of a militant “group”, and activities on behalf of a government.
When governments fire rockets and shoot civilians, it is called war.
Hamas has brought war upon itself, and we can only hope that their stupidiy won’t engulf the surrounding region — and ultimately the world — in a wider conflagration.