History shows that in the delicate arena of foreign policy, actions often have unintended, if not devastating, consequences. It is for this reason that I fear that Israel's response to the Palestinian Authority's successful bid for non-member observer state status at the U.N. does not serve its long-term interests.
Col. Richard Kemp is a brave and heroic soldier who has served his country with distinction, fighting terrorism around the world for over 30 years. He says that "during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare."
Listening to Israeli and Hamas officials talk about the nature of their conflict and what precipitated the current conflagration, one comes to a definite conclusion: they are both right. At close scrutiny, however, one finds that while both may indeed be "right" they also are dead wrong. Both sides have successfully managed over the years to foster public perceptions that support both their respective narratives and the notion that the other has wronged them. It is this conviction and the lack of unbiased and credible voices to the contrary from within and outside the region that allows this violent and self-consuming conflict to fester.