"Hamas officials emerged from weeks in hiding on Tuesday for a defiant "victory celebration" with their supporters outside the gutted parliament building, the latest sign that Israel's three-week assault neither broke the militant Islamist group nor weakened its control of the Gaza Strip.
Entire neighborhoods and practically all government buildings are in ruin, but Hamas police officers were on the streets, assuring Palestinians that they'd rebuild the coastal territory, home to 1.5 million. Hamas operatives were also passing out cash payments to some of the thousands of families who lost their homes.
"We are here," said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman. "Hamas political and military leaders are with the civilians. We are with the people. This is the victory of Hamas against the occupation."
More than 1,300 Palestinians – many of them women and children – were killed, and some 5,000 homes were destroyed as Israeli forces tried to cripple Hamas. " CSM
A couple of friends of Israel or perhaps actual Israelis have written to ask why I dislike their favorite country so much. They don't get it. Old Timers here can tell them that I HATE NATIONALISM. All nationalism, everywhere. Mark Twain despised organized religion and monarchy. He once wrote that mankind would only be free when "the last priest is hanged in the guts of the last king." Romantic nationalism was a new phenomenon in his day and so he did not have the opportunity to add nationalism to his list of anathemas. Patriotism is another matter. I hope that I am a patriot. Read the preface to Eli Kedourie's "Nationalism" to understand the difference. Nationalism is mere tribal loyalty and hatred of what are seen as competitor tribes. Often the tribal self-image is a pastiche of fable and propaganda. Zionism and pan-Arab nationalism are two sides of the same debased coinage of human folly.
In Gaza we have the folly of Zionist nationalism matched against the equal folly of a form of politicized Islam that embraces Palestinian nationalism.
Adults would find a workable compromise in order to make an end of the craziness of white phosphorus shellings of schools filled with refugee civilians followed by scenes of defiance that will inevitably lead to the murder of more children. Clearly, there is a scarcity of adults in the Holy Land.
I wish George Mitchell well. "Blessed are the peacemakers."