"The War to End All Wars"

I don't remember it exactly, but I believe this is what Woodrow Wilson used as his rationale when the U.S. finally entered World War I.  The war, he claimed, was so expansive that it would bring about peace; paradoxical, yes, but also poetic.

Right now, Israel claims that it wants to come to terms with the Palestinians.  But I've already pointed out a major problem with this: they are "the Palestinians."  Not Palestine, not any legitimately recognized government.  Terrorist groups like Hamas, lacking political recognition, turn immediately to violence as a way to get attention.  I think it's horrible, but they see this as the only way that anyone will listen to them.  One could even use the comparison of a little kid: no one listens to them unless they throw a tantrum.  Anyway, to the original point: how can Israel expect any anti-Israeli (wishing that more of them were pro-Palestinian...) group to not retaliate if Israel itself encroaches onto territory that it claims not to want?

And how can there be talks if there's no one to talk with?  Israel has to recognize some Palestinian leader that is accepted by the Arab world and is conciliatory before initiating a meaningful discourse.  As long as there is violence, it shouldn't surprise either side that there will be retaliations.  And driving all the way into Gaza after saying that they aren't going to touch it isn't helping, nor is the lack of a Palestinian government with which the Israelis could cooperate to drive Hamas out.  Even Pakistanian action is having more success, simply because there is a state of Pakistan that other states can collaborate with or coerce.

I once heard it said that moving to Israel is regarded (by the Arabs, I think) as automatic entry into a war.  It is, after all, a state built through recent conquest.  It shouldn't have to be that way, but that requires the creation of a peace treaty.  And treaties can only happen between legitimate authorities recognized both by their people (learn from Iran, McCarthyite assholes) and foreign policymakers.

But, final consideration: perhaps the only thing Israel can do against Hamas is attack and seize the most strategic parts of Gaza.  Their human lives are a priority, after all.

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