...not that anyone's counting.
Generally, I don't do politics here, for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, I can't vote - or rather, I can only vote in municipal elections. For another, comment is cheap (or free, as my friends at the Guardian remind me); I think there are enough armchair pundits around in the blogosphere as it is without me adding my blast of hot air. And finally, if I felt strongly enough about something, I would be best advised to actually try and do something about it, rather than ramble about it here.
That said, it's impossible to ignore what's going on in the south at the moment. So, cheerfully ignoring everything above, a couple of thoughts.
1 - Deputy Defense Minister Vilna'i cannot be so naive as to dare suggest that he chose his words badly, or that he was misquoted, or any of the other usual politician get-out clauses, following his radio interview on Friday. Under the circumstances, he can hardly blame the international media for pouncing upon his words. Sometimes, I think de Gaulle was right - Politics are too important to be left to the politicians.
2 - If martyrdom is such a desirable goal, why on earth doesn't Khaled Mashal, for example sacrifice himself? I am not being facetious - it's odd that it's always the ordinary Joes who are sent to blow themselves up or, as is allegedly the case at the moment, compelled to lend their backyards to mobile Qassam rocket units, inviting the inevitable, cataclysmic retaliation from the boys in blue. There isn't any other way to look at it - the man on the street, as far as Hamas is concerned, is just a pawn. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the last 60 years, the perpetual losers are the ordinary men and women on the street.
3 - Going one step further, it really irks me to see talkbackers cheerfully volunteering the services of the Joe Bloggs from Qalqilya in furtherance of the armed resistance. I have no views on the activities of Hamas, Al Aqsa Brigade and so on - none that I am going to share here anyway - but I get very uncomfortable when my left wing friends cheer on the struggle from the safety of their comfortable homes, many miles away from the dangers and privations of, say, Beit Hanoun. I would call this incitement, and cowardly incitement at that - what do you think?
4 - Mahmoud Abbas has broken off 'peace' talks with the Israelis - not that he had much of a choice. But, given that he had been enthusiatically pursuing Hamas supporters in the West Bank over the last six months, with the aid of US and Israeli militatry and tactical support, he may soon be in danger of eating his own tail soon.
5 - 70 dead in Gaza, at least one half civilian. I don't see how anyone, under any circumstances, can justify this. That said, the UN and the EU are as usual waffling on about the 'disproportionate' response of the IDF. This begs the question: what, given the circumstances, constitutes a 'proportionate' response? And I'm not picking sides here - I'm really curious about the answer. In this case, one would have thought that the UN (or, heaven forbid, the EU) would be in a position to offer some guidance. We may be waiting some time...
Oh, who knows...
NO answers on a postcard, please
¿Cómo se desarrolla la boca del bebé?
4 weeks ago