Click to enlarge, but it won't get prettier.
abbas has left a new comment on your post "return of son of The Spanish prisoner / sounds hot...":
yo bob, what's the "for dummies" version of what's going down in palestine, gaza, west bank and israel?
Posted by abbas to Vleeptron_Z at Thursday, 31 July, 2014
As every dummy knows, the Ibrahamic God has commanded all His children ceaselessly to slaughter each other -- not merely soldier versus soldier, but including infants and unarmed civilians. The United Nations relief organizations and, I assume, International Red Cross / Red Crescent notes that the Gaza situation is particularly ghastly because Gaza has now been denuded of nearly all medical supplies and resources. (Egypt blocks supplies from the south, Israel blockades Gaza from the north.) Yesterday an Israeli strike took out Gaza City's electric power, which runs the fresh water system's pumps. My diabetes is somewhat mild, so if I were otherwise unscathed in Gaza, the lack of refrigeration for what insulin may be available would take a few weeks or a month to kill me. All Gaza's diabetics face slow, ghastly death this way.
Vleeptron will refrain from illustrating this post with photographs of dead or maimed babies. Those who want to see more such photos this week should have no difficulties finding them.
I wish to take special note of the USA's last presidential campaign. In his secret speech to Republican donors (which was rudely filmed and distributed to YouTube, I think by a startled waiter with a cel phone), Mitt Romney discussed Mideast Peace. If elected, he told the gazillionaires, he would just "kick the can down the road" -- i.e., do nothing to try to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians, as he and all practical conservative leaders believed there was nothing USA leadership could do, so why even try? (I, like the majority of American Jews, voted for Obama in both his campaigns.)
Of course the dreadful never-ending hatred and violence in the region are the lingering legacy of the rule of European colonial powers. They're long gone -- they got kicked out of the region, and kicked out of India and what was partitioned into the two Pakistans, around 1948. The Mideast has been in regular violence and warfare ever since, as have Pakistan and India. Today many of the combatant nations in both theaters possess nuclear weapons and reasonably effective delivery systems. (Israel's delivery systems are by far the best in the region, and it's believed Israel possesses both fission and fusion bombs -- they have never acknowledged that they possess nuclear weapons.)
My family -- "Diaspora Jews," and lifelong sympathizers with Israel's right to exist in safety as a sovereign sanctuary for Jews -- has a long tradition of Lefty Peaceniks, and I make special mention of a favorite nephew who travelled to the West Bank to stand in front of Caterpillar (tm) bulldozers that the IDF soldiers were using to knock down Palestinian homes (to prepare for the construction of new Jewish settlements).
In our times, we are witnessing the total collapse of regional and international political leadership. In Israel -- which proudly describes itself as a parliamentary democracy -- only one national institution is respected and trusted by the Israeli people: The IDF, the Israeli military. From its historically victorious war generals, Israeli party politics regularly choose the next "tough guy" Prime Minister. Netanyahu is the surviving brother of the only IDF combat death of the successful hostage rescue raid in Idi Amin's Uganda, which made "Bibi" (a famed philanderer, I think he has twice had to apologize on TV) a sort of proxy war hero.
If you are waiting for me to say something nice about Hamas ...
Another casualty of this catastrophic breakdown of leadership has been the ancient respectful alliance -- dating from Ottoman times -- between Jews, Israel and Turkey. Turkey's disturbing shift from Ataturk secularism to Erdoğan's "faith-based" form of government/politics has allowed Erdogan to break Turkey's friendship with Israel and take an active pro-Palestinian role in the region. It's unlikely I'll ever join the Erdoğan Fan Club, but one of his provocations was indeed necessary and important -- sponsoring merchant vessels with food and medical supplies to besieged Gaza.
It's inevitable and easy for the world's independent media to cover war and dead babies.
What nobody (that I've yet seen) has yet covered is the Israeli anti-war Refusenik Peacenik political pushback. (Israel has long had a fringe party called Gush Shalom -- I suspect these are excellent recruiting days for this party. That's their anti-blockade ship in foto above.)
As an interesting footnote to this new war, Israel is about to make a historic change and end the automatic conscription exemption for its Ultra-Orthodox Jews -- who are the most rabid anti-Palestinians in Israel, but have never had to wear a uniform and do the icky business of killing Palestinians themselves. Universal conscription also drafts women into the IDF. I can't wait to see how that will work for the Ultra-Orthodox. There were women soldiers when I was in the USA Army, but I don't think they had a military job specialty of bearing multiple children.
In October 1973, Israel made considerable sympathetic propaganda when it was attacked by an Arab coalition on the holiest of Jewish days, and has since been known as the Yom Kippur War.
I now officially dub this Gaza disaster the Ramadan War. I think that could grow legs historically. People in the region will remember the calendar timing of the Israeli offensive for a long time.
Eid Mubarak, Abbas, and I love ya, buddy, but your request for my Feelings about this wretched business is making me sick, and I got to take some tranquilizers and blood pressure medicine.
Great question, though!