Biting the hand of a friend
With horror, Americans observe the deadly encounters of two neighboring peoples, one with an army riding in tanks and the other who strap bombs to their young men and women in hopes of detonation at such strategic outposts as shopping malls and cafes.What rich irony in denying Israel1s right to a forceful, military response to terror. Yet many Americans feel for the still stateless Palestinians, seeing shards of our own revolution more than two centuries ago in their desperate quest for liberty.Further irony comes when you consider that citizens in this horrible country the United States care more about Palestinian self-determination than any of Israel1s Arab neighbors ever did.The Palestinians<Arab pawns<were left high and dry by their so-called brethren from the beginning. Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, Iraq. All are quite big enough to spare some land for their Arab cousins. All have treated the Palestinians horribly, historically far worse than Israel has dealt with them.Our depth of caring about Palestinian liberties has become a thorn in our wider efforts against terrorism. How much easier to take what passes for the moral high ground of Ariel Sharon and let violence keep begetting violence.How rich that zealots would come kill Americans on behalf of a people who find more support from the United States than their own countries and members of their own faith, and stupidly, West Bankers would cheer. They should fear that we wake up to the threat their terrorists pose to us, an amazingly generous people, hardly the Great Satan their ignorant clerics advertise.But we support Israel, as we should, and that is the real sin in their eyes, even if a good many of us question Israel1s occasionally bullying ways.Can that peace process that seemed so close to a lasting solution really have died so quickly? The Palestinians all but had their independent state, and they blew it away, caught in a greater hatred for Israel than even their desire for liberty. Go figure.Neither do we really understand what it is like to live as an island in a hostile sea. Israel is vulnerable not only to suicide bombers, but armies and missiles from all around. The Israelis have survived this long by being tough and aggressive. The instinct burns deep, and their predilection for violent answers has served them well, if not peacefully.America<Mr. Fix It to the world<finds itself in an untenable position. Damned if we do, and damned if we don1t. Should we back off entirely from this one. Side entirely with one side or the other? Keep trying to playing peace-maker?Each course is full of peril. So let1s do the right thing and continue trying to bring the sides together. When they are ready to talk, sans cafe bombers and bull dozers. It may be awhile.