One small incident that sums up Israel's conflict with the 'Palestinians'
37 children between the ages of 5 and 12, who lost their fathers in this past summer's Gaza war, were to have been brought to Israel on Sunday for a day of relaxation and recreation sponsored by Israel's Kibbutz movement (i.e. the Israel Left). At the last minute, Hamas canceled the previously granted permission for the children to go. No, they were not worried about the children's safety. They worried that the children might - gulp - return home less hostile to Israel.
Eyad Bozum, a spokesman for Hamas, said the children were prevented from traveling Sunday to "protect the culture of our children and our people" from normalizing relations with Israel.
He says Hamas turned the children back when they arrived at a crossing into Israel. He says Hamas would make sure such an attempt "will never happen again."
[Kibbutz Movement representative Yoel Marshak] waited for hours Sunday morning for the children to cross together with representatives of Israel's Bedouin community, who also took part in putting the event together.
"We did everything we could to allow them to enter Israel," Marshak said, standing over a table full of candies the organizers had brought the kids. "We passed on their names to the relevant state bodies and they were all okayed. This is a very rare step on Israel's side, but sadly it was Hamas' men at the crossing that created issues."
According to Marshak, "Arab media is very angry with Hamas, there were a lot of people waiting to meet these kids, we received a lot of support and help. We will continue to work, mostly at the diplomatic level, to allow them to come. If not today, then in the future."
In response to the report, Hamas said that it rejects any kind of normalization with Israel, saying "these types of encounters are Israeli attempts to brainwash the children so that they forgot the Palestinian issue and give up their principles."
Somehow, I don't expect 'peace' to break out before I return home later this week. War seems far more likely. Do any of you wonder why?