In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank, and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible task.
There are so many stakeholders, not only in the Middle East but also in Europe and beyond, that would like to see an end to this madness in Gaza. The vital thing confronting us today is for the U.S. to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza and seek a viable and realistic political solution.
It's hard to recall a time when the world presented more crises with fewer easy solutions. And for the Republicans, all of these woes have a common genesis: American weakness projected by Barack Obama. People in the Middle East, former Vice President Dick Cheney said recently, "are absolutely convinced that the American capacity to lead and influence in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president." He added, "We've got a problem with weakness, and it's centered right in the White House." Really? It's instructive to ask: What exactly would a Republican president advised by Cheney do in each of these crises? Let's take them one at a time.
Palestinians want to live normal lives. They want to be able to provide for their children and see their children's children grow and prosper. It is not, as the Israelis would say, that the Palestinians have chosen death. Rather, it is that the Israelis have never allowed them the chance to choose life.