As for the Mideast, Israel’s going off to Gaza (again) for the 2nd time in 4 years. I know why, it’s the fact that there’s been a lot of rockets fired from Gaza as of late. However, there’s also a massive realization, within the Jewish community here, that Israel and Hamas had been trading a war of words as of recently. The reason for the recent Israeli attack, however, goes beyond the simple reason of trying to force an end to the rocket fire. One of the main goals is to force Palestine’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to forefeit any more attempts to get the international community into the dispute and to only deal with Israel directly, in the form of letting Israel make all final decisions. This has been the goal of both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigaddor Lieberman. Lieberman, in particular, is bad news to begin with, as he has no shame calling for the destruction of the Palestinian people and having all Arab citizens of Israel either sign an oath declaring their loyalty or depart from Israel to the other Arab nations immediately. If this is not racism, I don’t know what is.
Moreover, the Israeli attempts to force Gaza to submit, is a means of showing their strength. It’s a play to a far-right-wing domestic support base (mainly consisting of Ultra-Orthodox Jews and hard-line Zionists, as well as others). They look at Gaza as a territory invaded by Arabs who must be forced out. In other words, that is prime real estate for settlements that the Palestinians in the area happen to occupy. Force out the population of Palestinians and there’s enough room to expand Jewish homes and get rockets out of the area. Additionally, it would help disprove the Palestinian story that they have the right to return to their homeland (which by the way, I don’t buy this explanation). This is the Israeli position, which is implied, not said explicitly to the world at large.
However, I also know off-hand that Hamas get new weaponry from Iran. I know the Iranians’ reason for doing so, it’s part of their scheme to draw Israel into another Mideast conflict. When the trick through Syria didn’t gain much steam, the only thing Israel did was fire a few warning shots and lodge a complaint to the UN Monitors in the area. For the most part, Israel has little to no interest for getting involved in Syria’s Civil War. Sure, they’d be relieved if Assad simply stepped down, but are wary of the fact either Al-Qaeda or some other extremist group could take charge in Syria (i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood). However, I’m pretty sure the Muslim Brotherhood would rather assert a more peaceful stance to Israel than become embroiled in a war. Anyhow, back to the situation with Iran, the fact is that it has few options for how to get rid of Israel other than to arm Hamas and direct it to take on Israel through rocket-fire. I know that it is an attempt for Iran to distract the international community’s attention away from its nuclear program (big surprise). However, I know off-hand that in the end the international community will see the Iranian plot for what it is, and will simply not turn their attention away from the ongoing discussions over Iran’s lack of transparency. Like I’ve said before, the program lacks transparency, which is a major issue for determining Iran’s true intentions. Even US President Barack Obama has said this, “There’s no question as to Iran’s right to maintain a nuclear program, but with that right comes responsibilities.” In other words, all parties to the NPT have the right to maintain a nuclear program to generate electrical power and to develop medical isotopes, but they have the responsibility to make disclosures of such activities and forgo any intentions of building a nuclear weapons arsenal.
If I can express gratitude to Pres. Obama for one thing in this sense, it’s the fact that he brought forth a new START Treaty with Russia back in 2009-10. Both the USA and Russia needed a treaty of that magnitude, as it would continue to show that both parties are serious about world nuclear disarmament. Other things that I can also express thankfulness for are some of his gutsy calls, such as Healthcare Reform, while I know there need to be some tweaks, he and Congressional Democrats got it 90% right.