Tuesday, December 30, 2008

i was never good at being a cheerleader

on saturday i asked, "does anyone actually think that the israeli attack on gaza will decrease the rocket attacks?" i got a few comments to my post, none of them answered my question.

on sunday, i wrote a post arguing that israel had not learned its lesson from its failed 2006 war in lebanon. my point was essentially the same as the prior day's post, that israel could not possibly win this conflict and that it was just repeating the same mistake it made 2 years ago, even as the olmert government was launching this attack to prove that it had learned its lesson. again, i got challenged in the comments to my post, but none addressed my basic point, that what israel was attempting to do militarily could not be achieved with military force.

as i look over these posts and comments those two seem like a textbook example of why discussions of these matters are so unproductive. everything gets read through the lense of "whose side is the writer on?" rather than "what is the writer trying to say?" if it's critical of something israel does, it gets labeled anti-israel or pro-terrorist, and the response isn't about the actual point, it's about some prior step in the endless progression of back and forth grievances this conflict produces for each side.

it seems to me that anyone who actually cares about israel and wants the country to have a future without violence would be screaming the loudest against israel's incursion into gaza. it's obvious that the gaza attack is not good for the people of gaza, but it seems almost as obvious that the attack won't do any good for the people of israel either. oddly, none of the defenders of israel's conduct are even bothering to argue otherwise, they're just demonizing anyone who questions israel, or pointing out all the bad stuff that happened in the past. knee jerk hawkishness and blind support for anything israel does isn't doing israel any favors. if you care about the country, why cheer it over a cliff?