Like most people who have some vague idea as to the current Middle East situation, a cease-fire comes as a sigh of relief. However, I’m confused about this whole situation and don’t really understand the Israeli goals or how anything positive will actually come from the most recent fighting. There has been discussion of eliminating Hamas’ ability to rocket southern Israel, but if even 1 rocket gets launched, technically won’t Israel have failed?

This very much reminds me of 2006 and the bombing of Beirut and southern Lebanon. While I understand the necessity of Israel to defend itself; it’s beginning to appear that leadership there is unable to view anything beyond the idea of “security.” It seems (intentionally) ill-defined and sort of ad hoc in application. It didn’t work in 2006, let’s just bomb more and allow fewer aid workers and media in this time. That’s not a strategy; it’s really just a ploy since elections in Israel are soon.

I’m not saying that terrorism is legitimate, just that conventional defense methods are pretty much ineffectual against it. For me the bigger question is what happens now? If Hamas (like Hizbullah in 2006) isn’t destroyed, then what has been accomplished? Hundreds killed, poor infrastructure made even worse and an even more angry and resentful Palestinian population. How is that in the long-term better security for Israel? Attempting a non-occupation occupation with controlling land, sea and air will never allow Gazans to be self-sufficient (and hence peaceful).

War is always ugly and I’m not assuming that peace will be easy, but I doubt it would be much harder than the status quo. This game of continual victimhood and finger-pointing is childish and completely counterproductive. Both sides have legitimate grievances and blame, so where do they go from here should be the real question.

Obama and his administration have their hands full with this one and hopefully the new blood and a less “Cold War,” Vietnam mentality will provide both sides with the needed push to change the paradigm. Here is an opportunity to actually CHANGE something real and create a much more peaceful, productive Middle East (and world by extension).

So please to all those involved: actually pay attention to history, since you’ve been really good at repeating it and think outside the box. A little pain and sacrifice (from all) now could actually bring the peace and security sought. Remember, peace AND security are not mutually exclusive.

I also hope that all readers understand that I like to consider myself a friend to both Israel and Palestinians since I have friends from both areas. It is not anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli policies. I simply say this as I have been accused of that in the past, usually by people who have very little actual working knowledge of Israeli foreign and security policy.

Written by Dan Logue