Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Enemy Triple Play

Under normal conditions the saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Unfortunately, in the Gaza Strip nothing is normal and the catch-phrase does not apply. No, in Gaza, we have enemies across the board which would be most fortuitous in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, so perhaps it is not so unfortunate, at least politically. I say this because I fully understand that your garden-variety Palestinian is not going to suddenly embrace Israel, but it is encouraging that they are not raging against Israel in the immediate aftermath of the onslaught in Gaza.

Now that Israel has ceased hostilities and withdrawn, and while Hamas - having learned nothing of humility - is already busy restocking armaments, Palestinians who were fortunate enough to flee are finding that their luck applies only to their lives; their property did not fare so well, and they are angry. They are angry that their homes were used as military attack zones by Hamas.

Spiegel had an interesting report on the subject. Here is an excerpt, demonstrating the object of the Palestinians' ire:

"Mohammed Sadala's rage is aimed at the man, whose remains he found in his bedroom: a Hamas fighter. He and a comrade broke into the home which had long stood empty after the Sadala family fled. The Hamas men shot at the approaching Israelis from the balcony. The soldiers fired back, killing the militants and destroying the house of the 10-strong family in the process."

Couple this revelation with the unusual reticence of the Middle East as a whole to voice loud condemnation of the Gaza offensive - not to mention the media's - and it may just be that we are witnessing a changing mindset in the region, at least in the small enclave of the Gaza Strip.

Call me hopelessly optimistic, but as we rush headlong into the 21st century, I feel that even the most archaic of ideologies may be getting caught up in the wake of modernity, having no choice but to see that 7th century ideals are something that should have been abandoned long ago. Suffice it to say, perhaps common Palestinians have been awakened to the heinous nature of those for whom they voted and will now begin to see that a civilized approach is beneficial, even to them.

Barack Obama does not corner the market on hope.

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