Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dec. 30: Gaza - The Storm Before the Calm

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It's no accident that Israel chose now to hit Hamas and hit hard. Come Jan. 20, their window of opportunity will close.

That's because a U.S. president who's actually interested in the peace process will be sworn in.

"Frozen" would be a charitable way to describe President George W. Bush and his work - or lack of it - in the Middle East. President-Elect Barack Obama, on the other hand, is likely interested in getting something constructive done there.

There must be at least one pragmatist in Hamas and Hezbollah who understands that they will eventually have to break down and recognize Israel's right to exist and live in peace and security. The Israelis know they will not get rid of these terrorist groups, but hope to break them down to a point where they understand it will be better to shed the terrorist label.

(And for all those people around the world protesting Israel's action: Try living day after day with rockets raining down on your homes, your schools, your businesses, for years. It's not so easy to criticize when you've lived in that situation.)

The late statesman Abba Eban said that men and nations behave wisely, once they have exhausted all other alternatives. Hopefully, the time for wisdom is coming to the Middle East, soon.

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