Just as wars start for no good reason, they end for no good reason. The operative term here is "no good". Lest anybody be confused, for future references; Israel has declared this "unilateral" ceasefire because it has "achieved all it’s objectives at this time", as Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, put it. (Not, say, because of the violence and bloody murder.)
In order to prevent yet another perversion of history, let’s talk about the word "unilateral". This is another piece of rhetoric and propaganda. All you have to do, is fixate two words in the public mind, and in two weeks, the forgetful public will be saying that the saintly Israel gave the bloodthirsty Hamas a unilateral ceasefire, and those primitive Muslims, who only understand violence, continued firing rockets on innocent civilians. A job well done.
The pinnacle of Olmert’s statements (apart from the laughable "we won") was:
"If Hamas entirely ends its rocket fire on Israel, Israel will consider an IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip…"
I hate to say "I told you so", but ever since the Israeli army retreated from Gaza, I kept my eyes open for when and how they go back in. The above statement solidifies this for me. I admit, I don’t remember the reason it retreated, in the first place. (feel free to fill me in on that) It was too obvious they’ll just go right back in. My prediction is that the army bases will be remanned and more settlers will be making themselves at home.
As we speak, there has been clashes in the strip between Hamas and IDF, and 7 more rockets have been shot at Israel. Leaving the soldiers in the strip is a brilliant move. Obviously, after all this carnage, the Hamas has no political choice, but to fire (though that wouldn’t be the smartest choice, seeing as the Palestinian’s lives are in the hands of the Western viewpoint). The violent resistance will go on and so will the violent occupation (not necessarily in that order). Israel perpetuates the status quo and gets an outlet for the blood-starved politicians, soldiers and public.
My Second Protest
In the midst of all these bloody politics, I’d like to add a positive note from the front lines of the anti-war movements.
As the cabinet adjured to decide on its politically-strategic-"unilateral"-ceasefire, Israel’s tiny "Peace Camp" adjourned for its second peace March, in Tel Aviv, since the war started. Hadash is claiming 10,000 people- I’m skeptical, but a few good thousands sound about right.
The Communist youth group made a lovely racket with their drums and there were more Arabs than I had ever seen in one place at one time (and I passed in the Bahrain airport on the way to India). It was wonderfully loud and one could almost pretend that the police wasn’t on the sidelines in such density as to create an outline of our path.
Here are some images from the event:
The official Hadash video:
From my cellcam: