Brainless in Gaza

As another Middle Eastern "crisis" unfolds not only participants but commentators seem to be repeating themselves. Which is not really a criticism of the latter because the same old points generally retain their validity when one side (Israel) has limited new options and the other side (the Palestinian leadership and an unknown proportion of the populace) is wedded to a strategy of belligerent rejection that has now failed wretchedly for eight decades and counting. I note however Barry Rubin's point about the Hamas strategy of giving Israel "the choice between rockets and media" because I think most reasonable media, even if they stress the suffering of Palestinian civilians, also reflect an understanding that Israel doesn't really have a lot of options and it is the fault of Hamas that they don't so the suffering, which is deplorable, is also Hamas's fault. OK, so the New York Times sent out a Dec. 29 e-mail teaser (I don't know if it's possible to link to it but if you have the service you will have received it) saying:

"Israeli Troops Mass Along Border; Arab Anger Rises By TAGHREED EL-KHODARY and ISABEL KERSHNER With the death toll in Gaza rising to nearly 300, a furious reaction spread across the Arab world, raising fears of greater instability in the region.”

And on December 27 the BBC invited residents of Gaza, but not Israel, to submit tales and photos of suffering (that story is still online but the submit stories section and links seem to have disappeared). But for the most part my view is that the Western-media component of Hamas's strategy is as miserable in every sense as every other part of Hamas's strategy. Even in the Middle East some things do change.