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The Crisis in Gaza: the unfolding tragedy

8 January, 2009
Maps produced by the BBC

Maps produced by the BBC

I cannot even pretend to understand what’s going on within the tragedy playing out in Gaza.   I sense that what we read in our newspapers or watch on our television isn’t the whole story.

Thomas Friedman writes for the New York Times.  I’m aware that this makes him immediately suspect in some people’s minds. Some will say that this means he’s inevitably pro-Israel.  Well, I suppose this may be correct — although he does call for a Palestinian state.  But, as I say, I’m not confident I understand all the details never mind the nuances of Middle East affairs.  To be sure, there is a catastrophe taking place and people are being killed, even murdered — and all sides are culpable.

Friedman tends to make some insightful comments and, in my mind at least, helpfully (and succinctly) works at connecting the dots between things.  This latest piece, entitled “The Mideast’s Ground Zero” is well worth reading:

Friedman, \”The Mideast\’s Ground Zero\”

My sense is that Friedman and others are more or less right to underline the role played by Iran.  Simpy to see it as an Israeli v Palestinian/Hamas conflict is to see things one dimensionally.  Of course, I wouldn’t want to claim that Friedman has it entirely correct.  See, for example, some of the comments made to his article that are posted at the New York Times web site.  Israel, surely, is not an innocent player in this tragedy.

But that’s just the thing: in a tragedy none of the prominent players is innocent and many others suffer.

One Comment
  1. Many thanks for this. My wife has spent a bit of time in the area and gets very frustrated at the simplistic ‘understandings’ of the situation often presented in this most complex scenario.

    And yes, your final paragraph sums it up, all the time the helpless are suffering.

    Just discovered your blog – and I’m glad I did! Keep up the good work!

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