A guest op-ed from Brenda Heard of Friends of Lebanon.
On Sunday 14 June 2009, hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a statement announcing his expectations of the international community, Israeli F-16 jets dropped several bombs along the southern Gaza border. The Israeli military said it was targeting underground tunnels. Four Palestinians were wounded. (More on the exchange of hostilities here and here.)
As the Palestinians were being treated in hospital, Netanyahu proclaimed, “Peace has always been our people’s most ardent desire.” In fact the speech was interwoven with Hallmark-Greeting-Card-messages of tranquil harmony. “If we join hands and work together for peace. . . .”
Cut the violins. In essence, Netanyahu stated that he expected the international community to support his desire to turn his holy land into his Disney land so as to regain the tourist trade needed to bolster an ailing Israeli economy. We could make this whole Palestinian problem go away, he said, if we simply ignore those we forced out and bend those remaining into complete submission. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, though, we’ll let them keep a flag and a song. Just to prove how civilised we are.