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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hamas can't let Israel go

This is from today's Los Angeles Times:

There is something psychologically profound about Hamas abducting to Gaza and holding hostage an Israeli soldier, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit. You would think that the very last thing the Palestinians would want to import to Gaza is precisely the emblem of their former occupation: a soldier.

And yet, on a psychological plane, this seemingly senseless political act may be symbolically important. Perhaps without the soldier in their midst, the Palestinians in and of themselves feel no existential purpose. Perhaps they have no way to establish their own sense of destiny without the perpetual agony of conflict with Israel.

Hamas literally needs an occupier-enemy, just as released convicts who can't seem to make it on the outside intentionally commit crimes in order to be returned to prison, where they feel safer and better understand the rules.

How else to explain the barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza at Israel's populated areas even after Israel has evacuated the Palestinians' land? How else to fathom the pointless murder of a West Bank settler, 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri, killed almost immediately following his abduction? Each rocket, each murder, is a painful tap on Israel's shoulder from a frustrated former marriage partner who cannot let go and is threatening homicide. I'm still here, proclaims each explosion. Take me back, each murder demands.

Unfortunately, Israel cannot take out a restraining order against Hamas.
I left out the best part. Read the whole thing.


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