Okay, so I've been listening to all sides of this question on NPR almost daily, and here's what I think about the Israeli/Palestinian situation:
Back in 1947, Britain took the country of Palestine, which they controlled, divided it up unequally, "relocated" the Arabs to a tiny little strip of land, gave the rest to the expatriated Jews from all over the world and called it Israel. Within a year, the Israeli's invaded the tiny little strip of land and occupied that, too. Ever since then (and for millenia before that) the Arabs and the Jews have been engaged in a struggle to reclaim their respective "homelands" and wipe each other off the map.
The Israeli's have the Palestinians in a choke-hold. The Gazans can't move, they can't purchase goods, they can't even get goods into their country to purchase because of the embargoes, and they can't protest or push back because their puny little weapons are no match for the Israeli army and their advanced weaponry.
A couple of weeks ago the cease-fire they've been under expired and the Palestinians fired some piddly half-assed short-range missiles at Israel and killed sixteen people. Israel retaliated with air strikes and a ground invasion, killing thousands of Palestinian civilians ... men, women and children. Israel's position is that they have a right to defend themselves. However, their "defense" doesn't seem (to me) to be a reasonable response to the offending behavior.
The US is complicit in this, because we've supported Israel, and because we're a bad fucking example. We taught Israel by example how to round up indigenous people and stick them on little bits of land where they could be "managed" and cut off from their homelands and the things they needed to survive and thrive. We've rattled our nuclear sabers and permitted, supported and contributed to the development of Israel's arsenal, while threatening or actually going to war (most recently with Iraq) on the pretense that our enemies might be thinking about possibly developing or buying or building or using weapons of mass destruction, which only our allies are supposed to have. We've taught the world, by our own actions, that might makes right and that some people aren't as valuable as others. We taught the world that it's only bullying if someone else does it. When the "good guys" do it, it's advancing democracy.
Israel says they only want to crush Hamas, not the Palestinian people. They also said they only wanted to crush Hezbollah, the PLO and Fatah. It looks (to me) as if Israel wants to crush any organized leadership in Gaza just as bad as the Palestinians want the Israelis drowned in the sea. I think that powerful nations like Israel and the US ought to be able to employ diplomacy better than they do. I think that doing otherwise in this global age only leads to more enmity, more hatred of the US and it's allies and a greater threat that some hothead is finally going to start pushing those buttons and waging all-out nuclear war. But since we don't do diplomacy anymore, we should employ a parenting trick known as "separate the squabbling siblings."
I think that if the US is so invested in the Nation of Israel we ought to cede Montana to the Jews.
We're barely using it anyway. It's plenty big enough and we've even got some old missile silos and stockpiled weapons up there we could throw in cheap. We could create much-needed American jobs by recreating Jerusalem on a site of the Israeli's choosing. Helena, for example. We recreated Paris, New York City, the Pyramids, Treasure Island and Camelot on the Las Vegas strip. We could totally recreate Jerusalem ... and maybe even put in some thrill rides and slots for the hell of it. I'd offer to give them Alaska, but Governor Palin has really stunk it up.
Moving Israel to Montana would be good for everyone. The Palestinians could spread out a little, American Jews wouldn't have to pay exorbitant international airfare to visit family, we wouldn't have to send troops halfway around the world to protect Israel's interests in the mideast -- soldiers could just hop in their own cars and drive up there for a weekend -- and we could LEAVE THE BROWN PEOPLE THE FUCK ALONE.
I'm sure the people who currently call Montana home would be happy to relocate ... perhaps to that narrow strip of land at the top of Idaho, strategically wedged between Israeltana and Washington, so Pastor Mark Driscoll and his New Calvinists could keep an eye on the western border of the Idaho strip. Israeltana could invade it periodically just for old time's sake.
So that's my plan. I'll be contacting President-Elect Obama and offering it to him next week in exchange for a financial bailout. We only need enough to get out from under Ev's student loan debt and buy a nice piece of rural property. Considering the current plunge in the housing market, a half million should be plenty.