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Comments

Joyce

I agree with what you have written and can only wonder that with that confirmatio is there any hope at the end of the tunnel? Will the current cease fire proposition actually cease the fire of Hamas rockets into Israel?

Jay

While I have empathy for the Israelis, the truth, as we all know, is that the violent reaction by the Israelis will not work. It just doesn't and it hasn't. All news reports coming out of the region suggest the folks of Gaza are now more behind Hamas than ever. How tragic!

I'm not saying the people of Israel haven't been needlessly harassed and targeted by the Palestinians, but the idea of overwhelming violence in return (and the response has been massive and far greater than the Palestinian rocket attacks--a quick look at the death count confirms this)will somehow help the region attain peace is ABSURD.

So the bad choices remain: restraint or overwhelming reaction. In my view, you've got to go with restraint. It's the superior moral road, not as immediately satisfying, but in the end, fewer senseless deaths will occur.

Those who believe the overwhelming response by the Israelis is bringing them more peace are not really thinking clearly.

Assume the shoe was on the other foot. Would overwhelming violence by the Palestinians cause the Israelis to become less violent in return?

So the paradox that is left is this: in the face of senseless violence (Palestinian mortar attacks) Israel must somehow find the moral and physical strength to resist the easy temptation to respond with massive force.

Again, if overwhelming force worked, it might make sense. But anyone who's been watching knows it doesn't.

As Martin Luther King noted, violence must be responded to with non-violence. It's hard to accept, but it is the truth.

Some may say this is easy to say from thousands of miles away. True again. But to advocate violence from thousands of miles away, to me, is more disingenuous. Since I'm not a combatant, shouldn't I be advocating non-violence rather than violence?

Jeff Weintraub

Your point's very well taken, Jay, and it's hard to argue with it. There's no question that Israel's military action has terrible costs, not only for the poor Gazans, but for Israel itself. That's something that Israel knows quite well from experience. That's part of the dilemma.

But, as with other times in recent history, Israel tried restraint for a long time, even after thousands of rocket attacks. That didn't work either. This is an adversary that does not want to deal and wants to exterminate Israel (that's official policy). So what do they do?

Regarding a non-violent response, I've always felt that if the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had conducted non-violent civil disobedience to show their grievances against Israel, they could have gotten a lot more from the Israelis than they have now. First, it would be hard for Israel to respond with anything other than some concessions. Second, and more importantly, it would send a signal to Israelis that they can trust Palestinians not to kill them.

At present, part of the problem is that there's little, if any, confidence among Israelis that having a fully sovereign Palestinian state next door will lead to security. Look what happened when Israel pulled out of Gaza: attacks. Same thing when Israel pulled out of Southern Lebanon. There appear to be no ML Kings or Ghandis among their leadership.

Even with their grievances, a non-violent Palestinian population will inspire confidence among Israelis that they can live side by side. Right now, Israelis are too scared to give up anything.

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