I've had several thoughts I've wanted to get out about the situations in Israel and Ukraine but I thought it prudent to wait a bit for events to unfold. AP News has two great pieces up which summarize the ongoing issues with Russia over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Israeli operation in Gaza as of this morning.
My first reaction when I heard that the airline was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine was anger. We know what these guys are doing and they are bragging about it as Nikto noted the other day. Shouldn't we work with Ukraine to target these anti-aircraft missiles and take them out? Obviously, the answer is no and it's because we really need the buy in from Europe. This is a regional problem and the EU, in particular, Germany, haven't really shown much of an interest in escalation due to the Russian natural gas supply they need. This sentiment was recently echoed by Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble.
"Economic interests are not the top priority. The top priority is ensuring stability and peace," Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Classic double speak. The Germans are more interested in making sure they stay on the Russian energy teat and are hoping that somehow all of this just works itself out. Until they and other EU leaders change their mind and are willing to make sacrifices, we will be largely powerless to do anything. Honestly, they are being tremendously naive
Israel's efforts in Gaza are the exact opposite of naive. They recognize the problem and are moving to eliminate the threat with best possible speed. I make no bones about being fervently pro-Israel and completely support their mission to end the rocket launches by Hamas. No doubt I feel tremendous sadness over the loss of Palestinian children but the blame for that is largely on Hamas who purposefully place their base of operations near innocent civilians to score PR points with anti-Semitic press outlets.
At the very core of Hamas's ideology is the destruction of Israel. They are no different than Nazi Germany and if they are serious about helping their people, they will stop being violent and start advocating within the political process peacefully. That is the one area where Israel needs to be flexible. I've written about this previously but the only way I see out of this mess is a one state solution. There will never be a country of Palestine. Tareq Abbas is right
In the long run, Israel is going to come out much better as a result of this conflict. Vladamir Putin, however, will not. The EU may be dragging their feat but the writing is already on the wall. This was Putin's massive failure and miscalculation and the Russian economy is going to pay dearly for it.