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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why the 'peace process' is dead

I don't particularly care for most of what Bradley Burston writes. In fact, I don't agree with much of what he writes in this article. But this part - about why the 'peace process' is dead - is spot on.
In the main, the world has no idea - nor does it particularly care - that when a rocket up to nine feet long flies up to 25 miles traveling at half a mile per second and lands with up to 44 pounds of explosives packed into its warhead - the human consequence could easily be carnage.

As far as the world knows, that rocket will fall without a sound. A house may be destroyed, childrens' nerves shot to shreds, perhaps for life. Entire communities, whole cities, suffer from post-traumatic stress. But unless 10 Israelis are killed, or 20, that rocket never existed. 10,000 rockets, fired at civilian areas, unprotected by anything - I am truly ashamed to acknowledge - other than miracles.

It is these miracles, these barely averted catastrophes, literally thousands of them, which have become the central fact of Israeli life.

That, and an anger which no one outside Israel can know or fully comprehend, an aching, soul-deep frustration, an always humming fear, a sickness and fever over the nearness of true disaster, as well as a sense of abandonment by those abroad who cannot be expected to know what these people, my friends, are going through or why.

It is not the world's fault if it believes that Israelis do not have a right to their anger. The world is really not at all to blame if it prefers to view Israelis as ferocious without provocation, hateful without just cause.

The world only knows what we in the media choose to reveal. For a decade, we have dismissed the rockets as little more than toylike, backroom-cobbled nuisances, convenient pretexts for military onslaughts by Israeli politicians keen to evade graft raps.

The fact, however, remains. Day in and day out, Palestinian rockets target and, at times, demolish, homes, day care centers, health clinics, synagogues, kibbutz dining halls, town squares, factories, elementary schools, high schools, apartment houses. For years now, by some miracle, an enormous number of Israeli lives have been spared. These are people trying to live their everyday lives under fire, and who have no other defense, no protection whatsoever, except the intercession of some form or another of poorly understood providence.

On the weekend that Ms. Roiphe's article appeared, I wonder how many of her fellow New Yorkers heard at all that a Katyusha rocket had crashed into a empty schoolroom in Ashkelon, close to where worshippers were gathered in a synagogue, and, soon thereafter, another landed 600 feet from that city's Barzilai Hospital and its thousands of patients and staff. No one killed = Nothing happened.

The world long ago grew tired of its Israelis and their whining. The world could not care a whit less about the miracles that save them. The world has even had time to grow tired of its Palestinians as well.

But the world should know this: No matter how progressive the government in Israel, no matter how grave the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza, without an end to the rockets, there will be no peace process and certainly no peace. While the rockets are flying, nothing else moves.

Nothing that Israel has tried, neither diplomacy nor brutality, has been able to stop the rockets. Only Hamas can do that. The world and Washington could have made the rockets a priority years ago, and perhaps brought this to resolution. But the world has other things to think about, and Washington as well.
No one here dismisses the rockets. No one. Just ask the Labor and Meretz parties. The 'peace process' is dead.


At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's can't be "dead" if it never existed in reality. As the Prophets told us, we would make a "covenant with death" and that is what we would reap. What we need is Moshiach, as the Rebbe said.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It never had a chance. Those who continue to blame Israel for its demise are the ones responsible for allowing the Palestinians to kill it if it ever existed. Please spare me the European pieties about Israel's having to continue to pursue a diplomatic dead end. The people who live in the largest Jewish graveyard in the world are not entitled to lecture Israel about taking risks for a peace that will never happen.


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