To be fair, Senator Feinstein said this last night, before Hamas took credit for their heroic attack on that bus full of unarmed civilians in Tel Aviv this morning. However, it’s not as if Hamas has suddenly taken up terrorism as a last resort. The rockets have rained down on southern Israel for years from Hamas-controlled Gaza, and they’re aimed at schools, stores, and homes. Feinstein sounds a little more concerned about their points of origin than their targeting in this clip:
“I hope people see Hamas for what it is, and that is using their own people as human shields,” Feinstein said. “Putting these missiles and rockets in places right in the middle of residential areas, in homes and mosques and parks — you don’t do this. I mean, this borders on being an international war crime. Now the problem is, Hamas isn’t a member of either of the organizations — the Geneva Conventions or others that would hold this as a war crime. So, it’s a very difficult situation. Our solidarity has to be with Israel. This is a point where Israel has been under attack for a long period of time, and nothing has solved it.”
I understand what Feinstein wants to say here, but it’s old news. If people haven’t already seen what Hamas has done in the past with their targeting of civilians, use of human shields, and years of provocations, then they’re not going to see those qualities in this episode, either. The war crimes have occurred during the years-long hail of rockets on Ashdod and Sderot; they didn’t start when the missiles got better range and started threatening Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Feinstein urged Israel to tighten their relations with Mahmoud Abbas as the only path out of the decades-long crisis, and called again for the moderate Arab states to pitch in:
“I think Israel moving forward with Mahmoud Abbas is the only way to go,” she said. “And to miss this opportunity, actually because the window is closing — the demographics of the area are making it increasingly difficult, because the Arab population inside of Israel is increasing every year. So this is, in my book, an opportunity. And if the moderate Arab nations would every really to step up to be helpful in solving this, I believe it could be solved. You’ve got a couple of very thorny issues. But the geography of it has been pretty well worked out over the years.”
Sounds great … but which “moderate” Arab nations does she mean? The increasingly Islamist American ally of Turkey (which isn’t Arab at all, of course), whose head of state called Israel a “terrorist nation” this week with nary a word of protest from the US? The moderate state of Egypt, which is now run by Hamas’ parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood, thanks to Barack Obama’s insistence that our decades-long ally Hosni Mubarak capitulate? Jordan, whose kingdom has to look at American actions in Egypt, Libya, and Turkey, and wonder why they should stick their neck out to be “moderate”? Increasingly, the only “moderate” nation in the region is Saudi Arabia, which is a rather startling realization.
A two-state solution is the best outcome for Israel. Unfortunately, Hamas is only interested in a one-state solution, a point it keeps making in word and deed over the past decade or more, and Abbas won’t back a two-state solution when he speaks to his own people in Arabic. Israel may be the only player in this conflict legitimately supporting that solution. When the US can solve that problem, we will be almost all the way to peace.