Monday, January 19, 2009
So, Who Won?
Following the unprecedented double unilateral (definitely not bi-lateral since both sides did not meet to agree) cease-fires almost simultaneously declared by both Israel and Hamas, I really will want to know: Who Won?
Hamas says they did.
"The enemy has failed to achieve its goals," Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in the territory, said in a speech broadcast on Hamas television.
That is equal to a victory. QED.
It's strange however that it was the Hamas leaders who were safely ensconced in Syria and Egypt while the hostilities lasted who crowed loudest about the 'popular victory' over Israel.
Unfortunately, nobody asked the 1, 292 Palestine Arabs who made up the body count.
Israel says they did.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told newsmen after the Saturday night cabinet meeting,
"All of our goals have been achieved successfully. Hamas was beaten." He added, "If Hamas decides to keep shooting, we're ready to strike back forcefully."
Nobody asked the 13 Israelis who died.
So what happens next?
Naturally the world would rally behind the Gazans to rebuild their infrastructure and their lives. Money will be pumped into their economy and houses will go up again and after some time, life will continue like it should.
Hamas will keep winning elections in Gaza and maybe even the West Bank. The home-made bombs will continue to fall on Israeli cities again and Israel will make some for about 5 years then they will attack again and then we will all shout again and .....
The cease-fires practically guarantees that Israel and Hamas are destined for another bloody brawl. And once again, the victims will be the Palestinian civilians whose streets and homes in Gaza are turned into a battleground.
When will we learn?