I'm constantly reminded of the parallel between the ethnic cleansing of North America by those of European descent and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by, again, those of European descent.
HAMAS is the counterpart of the bands of Native-Americans (I'll call them Indians for brevity) who refused to submit and chose to fight. The unguided missiles that HAMAS fires off are the equivalent of the burning arrows that Native-Americans would use to set settler homes alight...with the difference that the rockets have little to no effect while the arrows were quite effective.
Likewise, the pin-prick attacks of HAMAS and of the Indian bands were met with great violence and killing all out of proportion to the violence received. The Sand Creek Massacre and Operation Cast Lead being good examples.
For Israel to say it has the "right to defend itself" against attacks by Palestinians is the equivalent of American settlers saying they had the right to defend themselves against the Indians. In both cases land was taken from the natives by the new-comers, new-comers who were eager to turn the title of terrorist on the defenders of the land.
"The Peace Process" was used in the Old West just as it is used by Israel to keep the natives occupied while their lands are taken. The United States held all the cards in 1850, just as Israel holds them today (with a big exception I will get to below)
American settlers, with the unlimited power of the U.S. military behind them, claimed they were innocent victims just as do Israelis today.
Whereas the United States worked hand-in-glove with the railroads and land developers to take land that was not theirs to give - in particular for the government to deed lands it unilaterally declared its own without the consent of the Indians, so also does Israel have the Jewish National Fund that works closely with the government to erase all evidence of Arab towns with tree plantings.
The 19th century United States worked tirelessly in finding individual Indians who had no authority to sign away land, having them sign documents transferring it anyway for promises of money or favors. Today, Israel has the Palestinian Authority that will, for money and position, give away Palestinian rights and lands as required by Israel (revealed by the Wikileaks "Palestinian Papers"
Just as the United States saw itself as a superior civilization taking "unused land" for noble purposes (economic development), so also does Israel see itself as morally and racially superior to the Arab Palestinians. This parallel is particularly interesting because neither the Americans of 1850 or the Jews of Israel today are of a race.
But there are significant differences between the American land theft and the Israeli land theft.
> the American west of the 1800's could not have been more isolated and out of the spotlight. Anything could be done with nobody the wiser for months, if ever. Now we have instant video and news 24 hours a day.
> the Indians were small in number compared to the mass of white people in the east and were relatively isolated from each other. By the use of inter-tribal hatreds, the U.S. was able to turn the Indians against each other very effectively. Though the Palestinians are not of one mind, they are not so divided
> the Indians as a large group stood alone with no allies. They were unable to duplicate the temporary alliance with the French against the British that allowed them to hold off the frontier for a time. The French, once defeated by the British left the Indians to fend for themselves.
> 19th century America was a booming, expanding nation looking to a west that was, by comparison, empty. Palestine contains more Palestinians than Israelis and this difference is increasing. Israel is a sore thumb forcibly grafted on to a large body of Arab people.
> 19th century America was self-sufficient, able to produce more than everything that it needed without financial help. Israel is completely dependent on the United States for weaponry and funding. Settlements would stop immediately if U.S. support were withdrawn.
> 19th century America was a wonder of the world and a source of excitement for people around the world, many of whom determined to move there and become citizens. Israel is a pariah and has lost the friends it once had with the sole exception of the United States.
> 19th century America, hypocritical though it was, did put forth the claim of liberty and justice for all and made some effort to apply its laws to all of its citizens (African-Americans notably excepted). Israel does not present itself as anything but a state for Jews. No others need apply.
> 19th century America moved, at a glacier's pace, toward liberalism and the expansion of rights for all. Israel has moved away from liberalism and toward extremist, militarist, orthodox-religious intolerance that is counter to the general move away from such a political view worldwide.
To sum up. I don't think Israel has a future as a Jewish state. It has willfully destroyed any chance for a Palestinian state, an object it has never wanted to see come into being. It maintains itself only as a fortress of belligerence resting on a mythology, that goes out of its way to lecture its neighbors on what they are allowed to do and doesn't hesitate to lash out at will under the full protection of the United States to date. It is the perfect example of irresponsible power, a bully that is allowed whatever it wants by a superpower standing in the background. Israel is by nature self-isolating and with the direction it is going, making itself repulsive to the worldwide Jewry for which it claims to be a shining beacon.
Unlike the United States that finished it's period of ethnic cleansing with a triumphant victory over a people that it either destroyed, penned up, or silenced, Israel has no chance of the same.
At some point Israel will become a bi-national state, but there is every reason to believe that many bad events will occur before this happens as fanaticism is not easily defused. Like South Africa, another country that couldn't continue to exist as a sore thumb - in that case, a white thumb on a black body, Israel has no future as it is. The only question is how much more suffering will it force on others before the project can no longer be carried on? It all depends on the persistence of U.S. support.
Israel is the political equivalent of that high-school science class example of instability - a cone standing on its tip. It does so because of scaffolding labeled "made in USA"