Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bargain

I'm on edge because of this bargaining exercise that went down in Israel and Lebanon today. I was listening to NPR on the way to work as the deal was happening - the remains of two Israeli reservists, kidnapped by Hezbollah in 2006 which started the month long war in Lebanon, in exchange for the remains of 197 Lebanese killed on Israeli soil in botched attacks over the years (it's actually still a little unclear who these men were), plus five Lebanese terrorists including Sami Kuntar who in 1979, when he was 16 years old, killed four Israelis including a father and his four year old daughter who he smashed to death with a rifle butt to the skull. Incidentally the daughter's two year old sister was also killed, though unintentionally, by her mother as she tried to muffle the toddler's cries while they were hiding in a crawl space in their home. The woman smothered her own baby out of fear.

And as I'm hearing all of this I can't figure out who I ache for most. Ehud Goldwasser's parents? His wife? He was 31 years old on reserve duty. He'd been married for six months. Or Eldad Regev's family? He was 27 years old. Also a reservist. All I can say is thank god his mom died eight years before he was kidnapped. Should I be happy now that their remains are back in Israel? Honestly? I'm more concerned at this point that there's no reason to keep future kidnapped soldiers alive since we'll obviously hand over anyone you want just for the remains. What about the 197 Lebanese who were killed fighting Israel. I'll be honest I don't really ache for them too much though I get that they all likely have parents, wives, kids too. Which brings me to Sami Kuntar. What about the mother of those two girls who lost her whole family. The perpetrator is now free. In exchange for two corpses. Is it worth it?

Ask the Lebanese, they'll tell you it's worth it. They're celebrating today. Collectively anyway. Not the case in Jerusalem. So what's next? Do we just move along and wait for the next soldier to be nicked and see who else the Lebanese want in exchange for the remains? Maybe they want Bibi Netanyahu. They can have him. I can't stand that guy. Olmert's not much better.

Here's what I recommend, for anyone who's interested. Just go do what the Israelis have been doing for the last 100+ years and build your own god damned country. Yes, that doesn't play out as nicely for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza because of Israeli border control and the like. Agreed. More stuff there to be resolved. But in terms of the Lebanese, including the Palestinians who were displaced in 1948 and ended up in Lebanon. IT IS TIME TO BUILD YOUR FUCKING COUNTRY. Two generations have passed, three if you're Arab, that you've been whining about being refugees. We know about being refugees. Figure it out! Work collectively. Build schools and hospitals and educate your kids and be a kickass country with a rich culture. And tell Syria to fuck off. And then maybe Syria can concentrate on being the best country they can be and elevating their citizens. And then you won't care about the Israelis except for how to fit all of us in your hotels because we'll be flocking over the borders to tour your beautiful countries paying top shekel for copious amounts of hummus.

I really have no business blogging on this topic. And I'll be the first to admit I likely have the facts wrong. But you can get "facts" on a news channel. Anyway, I'll leave it for Tom Friedman to express my thoughts more concisely and eloquently when he likely broaches the subject in a future op-ed. And tomorrow I'll be back to what I know best - pee pee and poo poo chatter.

2 comments:

Mooky said...

I think your political blogging is great. Not as entertaining as toddler blogging, but your arguments are potent, relevant and excellent! I surly don’t know the right answer to this horrific question of bargaining dead body’s for murderers. What I do know is that the Israeli government must hold itself to a higher moral standard than all its neighbors- Just as they have done yesterday and for the past 60 years. Since this war will not end soon, unfortunately, Israelis must ensure that their soldiers know that their government will do all in its power to bring them home. Does this in effect signal to the kidnappers that a dead Israeli soldier will grant the same price as a live one? I don’t think so. Hopefully Gilad Shalit will be released soon –ALIVE- from Hamas. I think Israel will free many Samir Counters for Shalit’s release. I really don’t believe the body is worth anything after the soul has left it; and for a human soul I am willing to go to war. Still, I fully understand Karnit Goldwasser quest for closure and I admire her greatly!

balgamalga said...

balgamalga said:

I agree with Mooky and you. Tom Friedman...watch out. You rock, little inner toddler you!