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Needed in Gaza: US inspectors, peacekeepers, and aid workers

We must stop lecturing – and start helping.

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At a recent forum of the New America Foundation, scholar Walter Russell Mead reminded the audience that Israelis – and by extension all Jews – and Palestinians are the two peoples most betrayed by the history of the 20th century, albeit in vastly different scales.

The US response thus far to Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip suggests that this double dose of human betrayal will be every bit the geopolitical phenomenon in the 21st century as it was in the 20th.

The politics are different from the past, as are the weapons, but the human willingness to shaft the lives of innocents in the name of realpolitik hasn't changed a bit.

President Bush has reflexively sided with Israel in the first days of this latest battle as he has for all of his presidency. President-elect Obama has indicated he will react according to the rules of the same domestic realpolitik playbook: giving the imprimatur of the US government to Israel's operations in the Gaza Strip, increasing casualties notwithstanding.

The message the entire Arab and Muslim world takes away from the US government is this: Dead Palestinian children are, in the larger scheme of things, an acceptable price to pay for Israel's security.

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