Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The Israeli Defense Forces have begun an incursion into Gaza aimed at prying hostage soldier Gilad Shalit free from his captors. Private Shalit's kidnapping, however, is not the root cause of this development, which represents in part just the latest escalation of the tit-for-tat violence along the Gaza border and in part the desire of Israel's leaders to win support for further withdrawals, both by bolstering their own military credentials and by demonstrating a capacity to respond to security threats from areas over which Israel has relinquished control. In comments below, Martin Kramer pointed out that Israel and the Palestinians were not at war. This is true, but there is ongoing low-level conflict which is now in danger of significant escalation. I could opine about how the Palestinians need to gain the ability to prevent these small groups from free-lancing and Israelis need to accept that there is, in fact, a conflict and avoid labelling as unacceptable every element of Palestinian resistance, but in the end that doesn't really move us much closer to the goal, which is to resolve the underlying issues in the conflict. Unfortunately, John McCain's "stop the bullshit" brand of conflict resolution seems unlikely to work.