Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fruits of Endurance

Israel and Hamas agreed Tuesday to an Egyptian-brokered Gaza truce. While Hamas has observed previous unilateral truces and cease-fires with Israel in the past, all of which broke down within a short period of time, this truce is different for two significant reasons.
  • First, the truce means Israel has given Hamas de facto recognition, acknowledging that the US-backed blockade has not worked.
  • Second, although Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of Israel, with this truce Hamas showed a willingness to co-exist with Israel as Hamas's leaders have said they will pursue a long-term truce in order to build a Palestinian state.

Hamas has said that all militant groups in Gaza have promised to abide by the terms of the truce, which calls for Israel to ease restrictions on blockade against Gaza.

Skepticism abounds on both sides. However, both Israel and Hamas need this cease-fire. The Gaza strip has become an intolerable burden for both parties. Israel's economic blockade against Gaza has worsened a horrific humanitarian crisis. Israel has allowed only the most basic foodstuffs and medical equipment in, and virtually nobody out. Hamas is finally admitting the blockade is really hurting them.

What escapes notice is the people who live in Israel's border communities, who have also been suffering. Palestinian militants fire crude rockets into the border towns, killing and injuring Israelis, which then brings down massive retaliation from Israel's military. However, Israel has no effective defense against these rockets.

For Hamas, the lifting of the economic embargo and the subsequent improvement of daily life might persuade Gaza's leadership that negotiation is the best response. Why do I have hope it will last? Because of these words:

"We believe that what was agreed upon will last and the Palestinian people will see the fruits of their endurance," said Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza.

It's a first step.


Randal Graves said...

Stuff like this is going to take decades, if not centuries to, maybe not heal, but normalize, but the first step has to happen at some point in time. Let's hope it's not a case of one step forward, two back.

Embargoes never hurt those they're designed to hurt.

DivaJood said...

I hope it's a first step, RG. My son and ex-husband are headed to Israel for a three week visit. I'm anxious as can be.

Robert Rouse said...

We can only pray this truce holds. Judging from the past, we can't have too much hope, but every step forward is always a good thing.

enigma4ever said...

I would be anxious any mom would be...and skeptisism abounds that is for sure...But I will try to have some hope for you...that it is a peaceful summer....namaste...

an average patriot said...

That Hamas and Israel have talked at all let alone agreed to a truce is a victory. Victory in the middle east is a milligram at a time but realistically I wish for peace there but not in my wildest dreams can I imagine it!

DivaJood said...

Robert, whether this truce holds or not, it was a major breakthrough with both sides actually acknowledging the other.

Enigma, I'm anxious as all get-out, especially since my genius son lacks all semblance of common sense.

Jim, I agree. It is a huge step forward.

Stella said...

I'm with AAP. Peace must start somewhere. Just because there is justifiable skepticism on both sides of the aisle, there are both Jews and Muslims that just want peace.

I am reminds of an old Sting song and am taking the liberty to rewrite the lyrics.
In Islam and America
There's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Islam sects

Mr. Ahmadinejad said we will bury you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Muslims love their children too

How can I save my little boy
From Darth Cheney's deadly toy
There is no monopoly of common sense
On either side of the political fence

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the [Americans] love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put words in the mouth of the President
There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie we don't believe anymore

Mr. Bush says to Israel we will protect you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the [Israelis] love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me and you
Is if the [Muslims] love their children too

enigma4ever said...

Hey lovely...looks really good....I hope that the ceasefire works..I hope and pray for a peaceful summer....

Pedestrian said...

I am crossing my fingers Diva!

... But am still always skeptical ...

There are just too many people on both sides reaping the rewards of this war to allow it to permanently end ...

DivaJood said...

Stella, I love that song. And the re-write you gave it is apt.

Enigma, it's just that they recognize that the other exists which is huge. And as for the re-decorating the blog - had KNOW idea I would lose everything and have to rebuild it. Yikes

Pedestrian, me too. Skeptically hopeful, if that makes sense.

D.K. Raed said...

It IS a first step. Let's hope there are many more. If it brings any measure of peace to that troubled area, it might just snowball into something that could be emulated by the other hostile nations.

Every few years for at least 20-yrs, hub & I talk about going to Israel. Every time we decide oh it is too dangerous right now, maybe in a few more years. Will it ever get any better? In my lifetime?

Coffee Messiah said...

One can only hope after all these years......

Here's hoping your family comes back safe!

DivaJood said...

DK, I haven't been back since the early 1980's, and I know that Israel is quite different from when I was last there. You should go, really.

Coffee, I am sure they will come back safe, unless my son and ex-husband spend too much time together. I mean, they are both difficult.