Sunday, May 07, 2006
And yes, I'm aware of images like these:
I am not at all in favor of "starving" Palestinian civilians as a method of conflict resolution. But if this kid is any example -- and I suspect she is -- the hungry, protesting children of Palestinian government workers aren't actually anywhere near starving. In fact, the funding that has been cut off is the aid to the Palestinians' Hamas government, not direct humanitarian assistance to Palestinian people. Hunger need not be a problem, nor should it be.
Of course I am against funding Hamas to pay for petrol bombs to be thrown back at us the very next day, but I hope food and aid shipments will continue to be provided as needed to help affected civilians. But meanwhile, with all this crisis Hamas is creating for itself and its people by maintaining a hardline refusal to negotiate or consider the right to exist of the Jewish state, I can't help being reminded of the scene in Blazing Saddles in which Cleavon Little threatens to blow his own head off unless he is allowed to escape -- of course in Blazing Saddles that technique actually worked because the crowd really was that dumb.
Meanwhile in between the present reality and future threatened humanitarian catastrophes lies a brief interlude for the Hamas government, and the people who elected it, to consider a phrase which has been around long enough in the West to become a bit of a cliche: "Guns, or butter." Hamas threatens Israel at gunpoint and expects Israeli butter to be handed over.
It is apparently human nature to want both guns and butter at the same time, yet human fate to eventually have to choose. Let's all send out strong mental vibes together and in harmony: "Choose butter, choose butter,..."