05 July 2006

endless summer rain.

First, a pox on Italy for breaking my heart last night. Lehmann, if you're reading this, I owe you a hug, and you're still my hero. Viva France tonight! No, it's not raining in the desert - "Summer Rain" is the name given the Gaza operation by the Israeli Defense Forces. Seems they've been taking too many lessons from the CIA in euphemisms. The deadline passed and nothing happened, just more violence on both sides. A rocket landed in Askelon yesterday (and several in uninhabited parts of the Negev), and in response the IDF stepped up its bombing campaign in northern Gaza. Does anyone (anywhere) really think this is helping? An IDF spokesman said the other day that this operation is not about the Palestinian people. In the same statement, referring to the jet buzzings and airstrikes, he said that "no one will sleep in Gaza" until the IDF soldier is returned. Do the Palestinian people not live in Gaza, or did I miss something? I think the airstrikes are a disproportionate reaction, to be sure, but I understand that the IDF believes it can't sit back and do nothing. But don't try to claim this is solely about Hamas and not civilians. Bridges, universities, and power plants are very much about the civilian population. A former American ambassador on CNN yesterday made an interesting point - no one else is getting involved. Not the United States, not the Arab world, not the EU - no one. It's like tuition increases or Bright Futures reform in Florida - everyone knows we need it, but no one wants to be the one to fall on the sword and say it. I'm starting to lose faith in the NPR columnist's theory last week that this crisis could lead both parties back to the negotiation tables if Hamas produced the IDF soldier. It doesn't look like that will be happening anytime soon, and worse yet, it doesn't appear Hamas ever had any interest in talking. The Palestinians will out-reproduce the Israelis every time, and the Israelis will forever out-arm the Palestinians. When will either side realize they're not going to wake up one day and find themselves alone in the promised land?

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