In a post
last night I waded into the soup of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I figured, why not? I'm only guest posting. If I leave carnage in my wake, Josh will be the one who gets to clean it up.
For the most part, the email response was temperate and quite thoughtful, but by no means was there a consensus, as these two TPM readers demonstrate:
From TPM Reader SS:
I couldn't disagree more with your post regarding the so-called "disproportionate" Israeli response to the kidnapping of one of its soldiers.
First, to frame the debate as you did--a response over the kidnapping of a single soldier--is disingenuous. Israel's response is not over the kidnapping of a single soldier. It concerns the elevation of a terrorist organization into political power--in Israel's own backyard.
Hamas has vowed, and continues to vow, to destroy Israel. In the same incident in which a soldier was kidnapped, two others were murdered and one seriously injured. Qasam rockets rain into Israel regularly.
I do not understand why Israel does not have the right to self-defense and self-preservation. Regardless of how you view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--and I for one believe in a negotiated two-state solution--it is impossible to negotiate with an entity that predicates its existence upon Israel's complete destruction.
The United States attacked and destroyed the Afganistan political establishment because it harbored terrorists. Everyone applauded. Israel has been living side-by-side with a people that harbored a substantial number of people who supported its destruction, and tacitly went-along with (or at a minimum refused to condemn or attempt to stop) these terrorists. Now they control the government. I think that Israel's response to having a people call for its destruction has been remarkably constrained. I don't think, in fact, we could find a more restrained response in history.
Then again, from TPM Reader JB:
The "kidnapping" of the Israeli soldier in a daring commando raid, an Israeli military disaster btw, was the pretext for this operation, which very likely was planned well-before the soldier was seized.
Discussing what the Israelis are doing as though it were really in reaction to this incident is to buy into Israeli propaganda. What they are really up to is simply to destroy the (democratically-elected) Hamas government and prevent the formation of a viable government in Palestine as part of PM Olmert's "Convergence Plan."
If anything, Israel's kidnapping of the eight Palestinian civilian cabinet members and the shelling of their civilian PM's offices is probably in reaction to the joint statement agreed to recently by both Fatah and Hamas pledging to reduce violence and by implication recognizing Israel's
right to exist. Oops. The one thing Israel cannot countenance is peace.
Doesn't look like I'll be unleashing world peace during this guest posting stint. Maybe next time.