With a good part of the planet becoming sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and with a defiant former President of the United States visiting with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Syria, bringing with him a surprise offer from Israeli deputy prime minister Eli Yishai to exchange prisoners, why on earth would Hamas decide that now would be a great time to ram bomb laden vehicles into a border crossing with Israel?
No possible good can come from this despicable act. Not one thing was accomplished by attacking the very checkpoint that is the conduit of goods and aid to the Gaza Strip save for three dead Palestinians and 13 wounded Israeli soldiers. There will be no movement from the Israelis due to suicide attacks, and indeed, their retaliation was swift and severe, as warplanes dropped more bombs that killed yet more civilians.
No longer satisfied with the establishment of a Palestinian homeland, Hamas pushes forward with an agenda that calls for the destruction of Israel. Understanding the anger and frustration of the Palestinian people, one must wonder at the callous disregard for the civilians by both sides, especially at a time when progress could have been made. When former President Carter is visiting with the Hamas leadership, and despite the snubs by top Israeli leaders, this could have been a chance for some sort of brokered peace deal, but that chance was frittered away with this latest needless attack.
The entire world silently cheered when Hamas blew a hole in the border wall with Egypt so that starving Palestinians could enter that country and gain access to food and clothing. Many of us were saddened when the Egyptians finally started pushing the Palestinians back into their walled in prison. Many a blogger shared outrage over the plight of the Palestinian people, and their barbaric treatment at the hands of the Israeli government. But all of the sympathy will dissipate like so much smoke on a windy day should Hamas not understand the reality of the world politic, and cease these never ending rocket attacks, car bombings, and kidnappings.
Having become so common place that they are no longer even considered newsworthy, Hamas and it's leadership must come to the conclusion that they are hurting their cause more than any Israeli air strike. People the world over just want to see peace in the region. They are tired of hearing of the killing of Israeli civilians, some of whom may have even been sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in the first place, but whose families now despise the very thought of a free Palestine on their border. The world is also sick to death of the wanton Israeli retaliation that is tantamount to war crimes being committed in the targeting of the civilian populations of the occupied territories. Deny it all they like, but those in the know can see for ourselves who the targets are. And if we reverse the equation, and Hamas declares that they are the speakers for the Palestinians in the Gaza, making them in effect the de facto government entity for the Gaza, then they also are guilty of war crimes in their targeting of civilians.
Hamas must come to the conclusion that they can not win this war, should it last for a million years. The Israelis are much too powerful, and should the Arab world ever even consider the unthinkable, the nations responsible would cease to exist. Therefore, knowing this, Hamas must end their attacks forthwith, if only to spare the lives of the innocents.
Most of us no longer buy into the mainstream media's nor either the U.S. or Israeli governments' portrayal of the Palestinian cause as a 'terrorist' operation. They have as much right to their own country as the Israelis do. But no one is going to buy the argument that what Hamas is doing now has anything to do with furthering the cause of their people. The only cause being furthered now is the march of hatred. Should world opinion turn away from the Palestinians because of these suicide attacks, then Hamas will have no one to blame but themselves.
Let the talks continue. Allow Fatah to gain concessions out of Israel. Place a ceasefire in effect, and vow that the Palestinians will not fire the first shot any longer. Tell the entire world that Hamas seeks peace and freedom for the people that they are supposed to be fighting for by laying down those guns, those bombs, and those deadly mortars and rockets. This is not a sign of weakness but of strength and conviction, and by doing so, the Palestinian cause would gain renewed world wide attention. Only this time the attention would once again be positive and sympathetic, and might even lead to enough pressure on both the American and Israeli governments to press forward on the establishment of a united and free Palestinian homeland.