Saturday, June 05, 2010

Gaza Blockade

The blockade of West Berlin by the East German/USSR with their divisive wall, which affronted many and led to the deaths of not a few, eventually resulted in the wall being torn down and the collapse of the USSR.

The lesson must be that those types of tactics inevitably cause bloodshed and ultimately fail. The trouble is that those who live by the gun seem inured to learning such lessons. North Korea is a prime example but though I have little sympathy for the North Korean government and quite a deal for the Israeli goverment, the Israelis seem to be adopting Berlin Wall type tactics which will be doomed to fail. The North Koreans recently have killed people by sinking a ship in international waters; the Israelis recently killed people by boarding a ship in international waters. Alas the Israelis will by adopting such literally bloody tactics like the North Koreans, risk losing many friends, much sympathy and worse. If they continue to rely on the use of force and the gun, more needless deaths will be a likely consequence.

Of course being subjected to terrorism is evil but fighting evil with evil is hopelessly counterproductive as the UK govt learned a few years back with the use of internment (imprisonment without trial) as a tactic for responding to evil bombing and killing. Internment failed but protracted talking subsequently led to the Good Friday agreement in Ireland and so far, more peace and prosperity there. Likewise South Africa's peace and reconciliation course is, if its results to date are any yardstick, a far better way of improving the welfare of the ordinary people of that country, than the guerrilla warfare it replaced.

The Israelis need to step back from their tactic of punishing a whole people for the sins of a few gunmen and bombers. They need to learn Winston Churchill's lesson of "jaw jaw not war war." Whilst they fail to do so mankind will be poorer.

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