Sunday, June 11, 2006

On the Beach

Sometimes you just like that feeling of sand between your toes. That feeling of the waves coming to the shore. That feeling of being bombed. Can there be any excuse for the bombing on the beach at Gaza?

To open fire on an area where there are members of the public is inexcusable. Whether by negligence, carelessness or deliberate act this is just morally wrong. For further coverage see Norm and also Lisa Goldman. Ha'aretz's Bradley Burston has this to say:
For every Mohammed Dura, there have been hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians killed by the IDF in error, in conjunction with the killing of terrorists, or because overwhelming force and remote technology was applied in order to minimize the risk to Israeli troops.

There was no news crew to film them, so the world cares nothing for them. And neither do we. Their tragedies are no less unbearable, surely no less unbearable than the hundreds of our own the world cares nothing for.

We can live with it, as we live with the idea of sending thousands and thousands of artillery shells into one of the most crowded districts on the planet, in order to try to hit three-man mobile crews firing a rocket not much bigger than a broom - the equivalent of going after a fly with a pile-driver.

We live with it because we Can't Just Do Nothing, as if thousands of shells, many of them directed at open spaces calculated precisely to hit nothing, are the only possible alternative.

We can live with it, fundamentally, because we don't know what else to do, and because the only thing left for us to believe, is that it's wrong to negotiate.
Side A lobs bombs into the are controlled by Side B. Side B retaliates by lobbing bombs into the area controlled by Side A. Side A retaliates by lobbing bombs into the are controlled by Side B. No matter who started the damn thing everyone is now retaliating.

The tricky thing about negotiation is deciding who to negotiate with. Whether or not to negotiate is an easy question to answer. Except in the extremest of circumstances you find someone to negotiate with, (assuming there is someone with the authority to take a negotiated settlement and get it agreed by their people). If there isn't a candidate then find one.

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