Monday, January 19, 2009

Searching for opinions (on the internet)

I recently stumbled upon this post on a blog from The Atlantic. Nothing particular interesting about this particular post but I found one of the comments interesting.

One hard-earned lesson from the Northern Ireland conflict was that competitive screaming about who suffered more at the hands of the other side (it came to be called 'whataboutery') achieves nothing except a zero-sum game.

A second useful lesson is that the biggest historical injustices are the hardest ones to remedy. At some point, the victim simply has to accept amelioration of the symptoms, not a cure. God is on the side of the big battalions, unfair as it is. (What this says about God is a matter for a different discussion...) Time, however, has a way of changing the size of the battalions.

A third lesson is that subversives (or terrorists, or guerillas, call them what you want) win simply by not being defeated. The surprising corollary is that demilitarising a situation can take away their reason for being.

Let's not be naive: Hamas follows a loathsome doctrine of hatred, but they gained sway in Gaza by addressing crisis condition that Israel, as an occupying power, permitted to develop and even worsened. Israel will continue to be perceived - rightly or wrongly - as the wrongdoer unless and until the Palestinians have their own viable state and government to blame. And to get to that point, Israel will have to swallow hard and talk to the people who say they want to wipe it off the map.

These are some good insights. I'm starting to rethink my opinion on whether Israel should talk or even, chas vechalila, negotiate with Hamas.

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