In Gaza, Status Quo Won't Do

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson says that a peace process is likely to be long, bitter and frustrating, but not undertaking one is much worse.

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson says that a peace process is likely to be long, bitter and frustrating, but not undertaking one is much worse.

The drama unfolding in Gaza seems numbingly familiar. This time, however, there's a big and potentially tragic difference: Not even the actors -- Palestinians and Israelis -- can possibly know how it will turn out.

How many times must they rehash this tired plot? Resentments build, tensions rise. A disputed border incident provides a spark. Israel reacts with sudden force. Palestinians fire rockets at civilian targets. Israel launches reprisal attacks — first justified, then disproportionate. Anguished women wail at the funerals of dead children. Men swear oaths of vengeance, solemn vows that honor and self-respect will never allow them to break.

The usual ending is a cease-fire and a return to the status quo. But the whole Mideast region is undergoing a process of tumultuous change, and there is no guarantee that the stasis considered “normal” in the occupied territories will ever return.

As President Obama noted, Israel has the absolute right to defend itself against rocket attacks whose sole purpose is to terrorize and kill civilians.

Read Eugene Robinson's entire piece at the Washington Post.

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