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The complexity of the situation requires clarity and pragmatism on both sides.

Reader comment on item: Explaining Israel's Strategic Mistakes

Submitted by CanadianChris (Canada), Jan 29, 2009 at 12:37

When we are told a story by a friend of how they have been abused by someone, the friend will rarely delineate their own responsibility for triggering the abuse. I believe that this is the hurdle which must be overcome with Palestine and Israel. The Palestinians have many many examples of abuses that they have been subjected to, but they will rarely admit their own cupability in the engaements. The Palestinians need to look at how unsuccessful their own efforts are at accomplishing anything resembling a road toward peace with their militarily powerful neighbor. Israel has shown considerable restraint in the face of the abuses and provocation that they have been subjected to.

If the military power was in the hands of Hamas, and Israel was in the position that Palestinians are currently in, The restraint we see Israel use would not be shown toward them. Israel as a country would be a memory and human rights violations would be commonplace. There is so much hatred for Israel, that there would be no tolerance for their existence in the region. Israel shows heroic restraint against an insensible enemy.

The Palestinian people need to come together to address the futility of their current efforts at achieving anything worthwhile, and seek to avoid violent confrontation. The informed world will not support the violence that they use to achieve their aims.

Canada cannot compare to the suffering in the territory, but our government's opposing parties have shown a willingness to make concessions for the good of the people and the country at large is an example of how to move forward in the face of an economic crisis. The criticisms still exist, the problems will still need to be addressed, but concessions have been made to attempt to ensure stability. This, I believe is something which Hamas and Fatah need to look at. the solution will not be in the hands of Hamas, it will be in the hands of a relatively rational power representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas is not currently this rational representative.

The wounds of the past can guide the future negotiations, but they cannot be allowed to halt the peace process. The two peoples have present problems to address, and they will not see progress until the current issues have been resolved. The issues of the past can be addressed once stability has been achieved. The Palestinian people need to look past their passionate hatred of the Israelis(or Zionists as they prefer to call them) and become pragmatic about what they can legitimately achieve for the future of their country. I do not believe that Hamas actually has an agenda of peace with Israel. So the people need to consider shifting their support to representatives that will seek peace with sincerity.

The claims of victory by Hamas are as hollow as G.W. Bush's claim of victory(mission accomplished) on the aircraft carrier. There was no victory in that case, and the 1300 victims which Hamas served up as martyrs are no victory for anyone either. The ridiculous fanaticism of the Hamas and their followers would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. It is not that I think that retaliating against the civilians or civilian targets is right or moral, but these are used by Hamas as cover, and Israel cannot encourage these tactics by avoiding confrontation when they are used. The act of becoming a martyr must be terrifying, even for the willing. This human instinct to want to live must be used as a tool to find a way through the complexity of issues and obstacles.

I would challenge both sides of the conflict to create a sincere list of their own acts which have caused the peace in the region to be so elusive. I know this won't happen, but it would be a start. I can dream can't I?


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