The Star Tribune reported Monday that 5th district US Representative Keith Ellison took the opportunity to mark not only Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but also the “one-year anniversary of the end of the ‘Gaza War’.”
Personally, I am a little surprised that the first, and so far only, African-American US Representative from Minnesota would spend the opportunity afforded by MLK Day to focus on any of a number of local or national issues by focusing instead on the end of the “Gaza War,” but I guess he knows best what is closest to his heart.
In any case, for myself, I am in fact very glad to join Representative Ellison in his commemoration of the end of the “Gaza War,” and with it, the end (or at least, relative cessation) of the 3 years of daily violence against Israeli communities in the south, which included over 4500 rocket attacks from 2005 to 2008* (ironically, beginning immediately after Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005).
What is a little bit interesting to me is that there have often been discussions around “could the Palestinian government really be expected to control all the other “fringe” groups operating in the territories?” I, for one, have been very impressed with Hamas’ ability to “control” its “allies,” including groups like the Islamic Jihad (previously often thought uncontrollable), to mostly abide by the terms of its negotiated cease fire with Israel. I guess when Hamas wants to keep things quiet, it can certainly deliver.
(Though this still feels like squandering Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to me…)
* Number of rocket attacks on Israel courtesy of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the US-based public policy group GlobalSecurity.Org. Read the full Human Rights Watch report on the rocket attacks and their toll on Israeli civilians here.
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