Okay, after days and days of reading about: Nakba, how Iran is going to destroy us 3), how the Taliban is going to destroy us and, how Hezbollah and Hamas are going to destroy us and how the Palestinians are all anxiously awaiting that day, I finally figured out what was really bothering me about the whole thing.
The stupidity of it.
1) Israel is a small country
2) Palestinian and Israeli cities are not that far from one another. Furthermore all of the major Israeli cities include significant Arab populations.
3) Nuclear weapons and the related radioactive fallout have not yet reached the level of sophistication that they differentiate between Arab and Jew. If Tel Aviv is nuked, not only is Yaffo toast as well, but based on the size and type of explosion and the prevailing weather conditions, the fallout could conceivably affect Palestinian cities in the Gaza strip. I think it is a fair assumption that, in this case, Israeli medical assistance to the affected Palestinian areas would not be forthcoming. Several of our major hospitals would have been vaporized and the others would be busy treating Israeli wounded. Sure, this might not go over well on the world stage, but at a time such as that, "world opinion" would probably be pretty low on our list of priorities. Or so one would presume.
4) This is not even taking into account any Israeli response. Which, in the case of a nuclear attack, would be (I hope) rather severe. It is not that I am all that bloodthirsty but rather that, after the Holocaust, my worldview in respect to such matters can be roughly described as "if we are going to go down, at least we should take down as many of the bastards down with us as we possibly can". Though, of course, I would prefer that we do not go down and that we do not have to take various others with us. This is in particular because I live in Tel Aviv--aka Iranian Target #1. There is nothing quite like self-interest to keep any random violent tendencies that I may have in check.
5) Hamas has (if the news is accurate) joined up with Iran, who is effectively proposing a plan that has the ability to cause significant damage to the folks in Gaza. As such, if Israel is wiped off the map, so will a healthy chunk of the Palestinian population living in the region.
I can understand the alliance with Hezbollah. Right now, Hezbollah also hits Arab Israelis, but theoretically, at some point they may get their hands on technology which will allow them to aim. In addition, Gaza is not within Hezbollah's range. Therefore, to a certain extent, this alliance makes tactical sense. I say "certain extent" because a conflict with Hezbollah also has the potential to injure the Palestinian population. If they knock out our electric grid....guess who also looses power? I suppose one could look at this as a necessary inconvenience to be suffered in order to achieve an ultimate goal.
But the alliance with Iran does not represent a mere necessary inconvenience. It represents the potential for mass casualties. True, there is all that rhetoric about blessed martyrdom. But I do not completely buy that either; the Hamas leadership seems to be quite interested in keeping themselves alive. Nuclear conflict makes the achievement of that goal significantly more difficult. Of course, I suppose the leadership probably has bunkers.....
So far as I can tell, at this point the average Gazan does not have too much in the way of opportunity to freely express his or her opinion on this matter, much less "vote the bastards out" if he or she disagrees with Hamas' foreign policy. But I do wonder if this has occured to them. I would like to think so. I would like to think that if you peel back the external layer of radical elements, you really would find a core of people who are reasonable, who are not looking for glorious, violent martyrdom, who would choose the companionship of their families over that of the mythical 72 virgins...and in short who consider it to be in their own best interest to stay alive. And who are sensible enough to realize that the Iranian schemes run directly counter to said self-interest.
And who find the whole situation just as insane as I do.