While many of us have been looking the other way, Israel has mounted its largest incursion for some time into Gaza. According to the Guardian, 50,000 people are trapped in Gaza by the Israeli army’s renewed strategy of demolishing homes and blocking roads. The operation is being referred to as “Operation Days of Penitence”. The irony is palpable and tragic.

It is in this context that Ariel Sharon accused Iran of recruiting Arab citizens for the purposes of sedition. He seems to believe that Hezbollah has been using Iranian backing to support incursions into the occupied territories for recruiting purposes.

It is certainly true that Iran has in the past had, and may today have, links with Hezbollah. They are viewed across much of the middle-east as freedom fighters, a portrayal that ongoing Israeli actions encourage. While groups like Hezbollah commit acts that should cause any right-minded government to withdraw their support, very few governments are free of links with such groups.

What is really clear from Sharon’s statement is his own power of denial. If anything is encouraging “sedition” amongst those peoples it’s the continuing sense of powerlessness constant incursions cause. And what also becomes clear from the empty rhetoric being used in the US presidential debates is that there is no will from either candidate to really resolve this issue. The current context would have provided plenty of graphic examples for the administration to use in announcing a new resolve, or for Kerry/Edwards to critique the abject failure that is the roadmap.


  1. It’s a really messy state, and what makes it worse is that those most in a position to put something into unravelling the knot are either unwilling to or set against mutual humanity & respect. Ever the irony, the holy land of the one God (Al-lah, YHWH) is the land of widespread fracture and sectarianism.