Monday, December 17, 2012

Seeing the Best of Us in the Worst of Places

In the wake of the most recent fight between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the experts have declared winners: "Obama won. Hilary won. Israel won…" No, only the Palestinians won.

Obama did not win because, as the "leader of the free world,' he may be one of the worst "honest brokers" of all time. He promises one side (Israel) the most advanced weapons on Earth, while promising to deny the other side (Hamas of Gaza) any weapons at all.

Hilary did not win because, while posing as a peace broker, she refused to talk to Hamas, one of the two warring factions. (Impossible!) Apparently, Hamas offends her sensibilities.

Israel did not win because it launched over 1500 air strikes into one of the most densely-populated communities on Earth. ('Nuff said.)

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade of the Gaza Strip. For all intents and purposes, these people of Gaza exist in a 21st century concentration camp - what Rule Jebreal, Newsweek correspondent, calls an "open-air prison." When the bombs start falling, the Gazans cannot retreat to refugee camps across the border, as many civilian populations do in times of war. They are trapped in a fish bowl, and must hunker down, and hope.

In an eight-day span, Israel killed 168 Palestinians - "mostly women and children," according to Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. For the Israelis, it was like shooting fish in a bowl.

And then it was over, and the Palestinian people, unbowed, defiantly celebrated in the streets of Gaza City. Talk about the "indomitable human spirit," and then we see it in real time.

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