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I must admit deriving a wee bit of satisfaction for being among the first to openly criticize Israel’s role in the current crisis in Gaza these past two weeks before it became… well, not “cool”, but certainly before it became “publicly acceptable” to do so without being verbally castrated. In my 40+ years, I have no memory of SO many people suddenly SO willing to publicly speak out against Israel’s use of “excessive force” in Gaza without fear of being labeled “anti-Semitic”. Why? I chalk it up to “Bush’s Middle Eastern Crusade”, and how so many Americans don’t want to see Israel repeat Bush’s mistakes.

I must tell you that I have NO stake in this feud. I’m neither Jewish nor of Middle-Eastern decent. Just your “AWG” (“Average White Guy”) with an interminably low threshold for B.S..

Israel’s disparate response to rocket attacks by Hamas within Gaza that killed (roughly) two dozen Israeli citizens, by launching cluster bombs into Gaza that have now killed over 500 Palestinian civilians, has been met with Global ridicule. And though I spoke up early, I lament that I did such a poor job of detailing *exactly* why this crisis was SO unpalatable. I can’t imagine that there is ANY sane person out there that thinks this can end with “peace” and “increased security for Israel”. What Israel is doing is almost certain to result in the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they hope to achieve. It’s like trying to put out a fire by smothering it with gunpowder. They’ve been using “The Bush Doctrine” from Day One. Everything Israel is doing they do in the name of “fighting terrorism”. And just like Bush, their “solution” is to bomb the enemy into a pliable state. Kosher “Shock & Awe” if you will.

If this is to end, it’s not going to be won by waging war. This needs to be handled like a police matter. That’s a lesson Bush never learned. It’s how the Clinton Administration caught, tried and convicted the first attackers of the Twin Towers in 1993… where they remain behind bars to this day. And it’s what the Bushies ridiculed John Kerry for suggesting in 2004 when he dared note the obvious: that it is impossible to prevent anyone from ever using terrorism ever again. All one can do is treat it as a “law enforcement” issue, reducing it to the level of “nuisance”.

I have repeatedly heard media pundits… including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on “Meet the Press” yesterday and President-elect Obama himself (I can’t find a clip despite seeing it twice already on TV)… compare events in Gaza to “how would we react if Canada were lobbing missiles across the border into the U.S.”? I absolutely detest this analogy, not only for suggesting it’s “okay” to risk killing civilians if the attackers are not from the same country as you, but because the analogy itself is all wrong. The Gaza Strip is not another country, it’s a part of Israel. Palestinians living in Gaza serve in the Israeli government, travel “freely” (via “checkpoints”) between the two, and its people work in Israeli businesses. In my opinion, Israel has a duty to protect the citizens of Gaza, not bomb them. The proper analogy here isn’t “if Canada were bombing the US.” but “if Rhode Island were bombing Massachusetts“. Would we then allow Massachusetts to fire missiles into Rhode Island? I’d certainly hope not. No, we’d go into RI and arrest the people committing the crime.

“Hamas” is not “Gaza”. Hamas is a terrorist organization operating inside Gaza. They are criminals and should be dealt with like any other criminal organization. You infiltrate them, collect information on them, then move in and arrest them, not unlike how we’ve prosecuted The Mob in this country for decades. Try to imagine Mayor Bloomberg fighting The Mob by firing missiles at criminal hangouts in the heart of downtown Manhattan. How do you think THAT would go over with the citizens of New York?

Israel has been infected with “The Bush Virus”. As long as they treat this as a “war” of “us vs them”, the Palestinians and Israeli’s will always view the other as “them” (aka, “not us, therefore it’s okay to kill them”) and the war will go on forever.

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