Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not Kid Games: Baskin on Hamas-Israel Conflict

Sir, - I get the distinct impression from the writings of Gershon Baskin that he is still living and enjoying his childhood. This impression is reinforced by his incessant attempts to translate very serious current events into the terminology and framework of mundane and banal games.

His article "Message to Hamas, Israel leaders" (Opinion, Nov. 12) bears the tone as if it is addressed to two groups of mischievous kids who are sparring. Bearded, kindly faced Gershon comes along and says, "Aw shucks fellas, quit this fracas, what seems to be the problem? Who started this? Well of course I understand that each side claims the other started, but a little give and take on each side will settle the matter." Gershon then exits the scene, and of course each side continues to try and knock the hell out of the other.

My message to Baskin: We here in the Middle East in general, and the PA-Israel and Hamas-Israel conflicts in particular, are not involved with meaningless kid games. We are involved in existential conflicts, where real people are killed and real property is destroyed, and the conflicts do not fade away merely at the facile suggestions  and proposals of Gershon Baskin. His proposals are not only facile, they suffer by his unrelenting attempts to have us believe that there is a symmetry of justifiable claims on each side. Of course Gershon goes on (unwittingly) to show his undeniable pro Hamas bias by his astonishing quote, "We are not talking about making peace with Israel; that is too much for Hamas to accept, but we can have a real hudna."

Well Gershon, when you grow up and face the truth of the reality, You will find that there is one side to the dispute that is guilty of unprovoked and implacable aggression, which has continued for many years, and today succeeds in holding a million Israelis hostage, and the whole southern side of our country almost paralyzed by the daily terrorist rockets that are aimed at our civilian population.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Flickr user looking4poetry]