Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Six Day War

We're now in the 40th anniversary week of the Six Day War of 1967. That war's effects are still very much with us. And for Americans, now that we're involved in an ongoing war in Iraq that has no end in sight, the US is part of the neighborhood in a way that we haven't been before. Increasinly, people in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East are reportedly identifying the United States with Israel more and more closely. And, in fact, the Cheney-Bush administration has uncritically supported current Israeli policies to an extent no other administration, Republican or Democrat, has done.

The Los Angeles Times had this analysis today,
Israel's lost 40 years by Meir Shalev 06/05/07:
Forty years have passed, and Israel has indeed choked. The country is busy dealing with one matter: the occupation — the territories, the Palestinians, terror, holy sites, the establishment and evacuation of settlements. Forty years have passed, and Israel has neglected everything that the Israel of 1948 wished to occupy itself with: education, research, welfare, health.

"Forty years" is not just some round number. It is a period with traditional meaning, a number through which God tends to emphasize his will. The flood continued for 40 days and 40 nights; Moses remained on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights; the Jewish people wandered the desert for 40 years; Jesus sequestered himself there for 40 days. It seems to me that God is sick of religious figures and generals and politicians who claim to speak in his voice. He is taking advantage of this mathematical moment and letting everyone know that now is the time to settle up.
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