Israel's aerial bombardment of Gaza will end the minute the White House tells them to call it off. Shrub may not have any credibility left in the rest of the planet, but he still calls the shots with the Israelis. Unfortunately as we've seen in his own failed wars and in Israel's botched war in Lebanon, there's no end to Bush's appetite for bloodshed. Killing civilians, en masse, isn't something that's going to cost George any sleep.
It's interesting how the rocket barrages by Palestinian militants are unquestionably taken to be the work of Hamas, the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people. Everybody makes the claim, takes it for granted, and yet I, for one, haven't seen anything directly linking the militants and the Palestinian government.
It's a guilt by association thing that surely ought to cut both ways at the very least. That means Israel is culpable in every atrocity committed by its own extremists, its settlers, in stealing Palestinian land, in destroying their olive groves, in stoning and shooting their innocents. Of course that would mean we'd have to designate Israel as a terrorist regime, something that's unthinkable of a state whose leaders acknowledge a "pogrom" against the Palestinians and yet are no better than Hamas at eradicating their own, in-house extremists, their Jewish fundamentalists who are just as bloodthirsty as their counterpart Islamist fundamentalists.
We have seen what Christian fundamentalism (the radical Rapture reprobates) has done to the United States. We've seen what Islamic fundamentalism (the radical Wahabism reprobates) has done to the Middle East. We've seen what Jewish fundamentalism (the radical Zionism reprobates) has done to the Occupied Territories. There's no point coddling these people because, when it comes to extremism, there's neither floor nor ceiling. None of them put their nations or their peoples ahead of their religious zealotry. They're not interested in freedom of religion because they know other religions are untrue or worse. They're all one gaggle of freebooter Crusaders ironically huddled around the same book.
The international community created Israel. We have seen for far too long that Israel is incapable of managing its own affairs, both unable and unwilling to find peace with its neighbours. No nation, no group in that region has clean hands. It's time to impose peace on Israel and on the Palestinians, the Lebanese and the Syrians. Israel isn't interested in a one-state solution so a two-state solution it must be.
Back to the 1967 borders. A buffer zone established entirely within Israeli territory and occupied by international peacekeepers armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry and technology. Peacekeepers with a mandate to shoot to kill intruders from either side whether they come by land, by air or by sea. It might take two, perhaps even three generations for the ethnic and religious venom to die off but we're at a point where it's either quarantine both sides or allow this nightmare to worsen, perhaps irretrievably.
This madness must end.