I read this in my morning mail and was slightly outraged. What I feel about Gaza is that in short both sides in this conflict are squabbling children and the propaganda on both sides has left few, if any options for us in this case. The only victims in Gaza are the children and innocents on both sides who must suffer. Hamas uses playgrounds and Hospitals as bases of operation and launching sites for rockets in order to provide carnage to show the world. Israel pounds the tiny area with 500 lb bombs destroying entire neighborhoods and providing ample propaganda for Hamas to use in its campaign. Every bomb Israel uses throws another log on the fire and creates even more resentment not only by the citizens of Gaza, but the world community that is fed Hamas propaganda.
The statement detailed below by the Prime Minister of another nation smacks of interference by a foreign power with our government. Apparently the Prime Minister of Israel is the one giving orders to the US when it comes to our foreign policy in the middle east. So much for President Bush being "The Decider."
This is difficult for me. I grew up being a staunch supporter of Israel. I saw incidents of innocent Israelis being killed in hijackings and wars and incursions by their neighbors. I read of the Holocaust and the millions of Jews killed in the Nazi death camps. Israel was a nation born of that promise "Never Again." Then we leap to today where we see the victims employing the tactics once used against them. Confining Arabs to ghettos, pounding them with rockets, bombs and artillery and I have to wonder who the victim is now? Each side has valid arguments about the existence of the other. The only thing that causing more death and destruction will do is bring about even more death and destruction and solve nothing. The Israeli intelligence sources I have heard have even stated that there is no real military solution for the Gaza situation. It is even starting to undermine the Fatawa movement on the West Bank and put the leader we support there in an increasingly tenuous situation.
In taking its action, Israel is cutting its own throat.
Israeli Prime Minister Brags About Giving Orders to Bush
Last week, there was a key vote on a United Nations resolution on a Gaza ceasefire. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice worked on crafting the specific language of the measure, and rallied other countries to back the resolution. It was obvious, given her efforts, that Rice supported both the measure and its goals.
And yet, when it came time for a vote, the United States abstained. What happened? Apparently, Ehud Olmert made a phone call.
In an unusually public rebuke, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel said Monday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been forced to abstain from a United Nations resolution on Gaza that she helped draft, after Mr. Olmert placed a phone call to President Bush.
"I said, 'Get me President Bush on the phone,' " Mr. Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, according to The Associated Press. "They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care: 'I need to talk to him now,' " Mr. Olmert continued. "He got off the podium and spoke to me."
Israel opposed the resolution, which called for a halt to the fighting in Gaza, because the government said it did not provide for Israel's security. It passed 14 to 0, with the United States abstaining.
Mr. Olmert claimed that once he made his case to Mr. Bush, the president called Ms. Rice and told her to abstain. "She was left pretty embarrassed," Mr. Olmert said, according to The A.P.
In response, a State Department official said Rice wanted to abstain, and it was all part of the plan.
But that's very hard to believe. The U.S. Secretary of State helped write and "fully supports" a resolution, and then suddenly decides she doesn't want to vote for it?
At a State Department briefing yesterday, spokesperson Sean McCormack was asked "what message does it send" when Rice fails to vote for a resolution she supports and helped write. McCormack responded, "Well, you're -- you're certainly welcome to your interpretation."
As non-answers go, that one actually tells us quite a bit.