Oakland is to Gaza as San Francisco is to Israel?

31 Dec

“Israel must fight Hamas to open a path to peace”, said Akiva Tor, Israel consul general, in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. In his article he discusses the security dilemma that confronts Israel and its citizens. To help readers better visualize his case, he uses the example of Oakland as Hamas’ rule in Gaza juxtaposed to San Francisco as Israel. He paints the following picture for his readers:

Imagine San Francisco bombarded daily by rockets launched from the Oakland hills. The rockets, while primitive, have gradually increased in sophistication and range, and have caused large parts of San Francisco to empty and fall into economic decay. A primary target is the San Francisco power station, which nevertheless continues to provide electricity to Oakland. San Francisco retaliates, but undertakes limited actions aimed at the launch pads. Throughout the years of crisis, San Francisco maintains a flow of humanitarian goods over the Bay Bridge, but conditions an unimpeded flow of commercial goods on ending the rocket fire – not on Oakland recognizing San Francisco’s right to exist. The result? Critics throughout the Arab world bristle that San Francisco is choking Oakland and exercising collective punishment.

This, according to Tor, is Israel’s situation vis-a-vis Hamas in Gaza. He advocates that the Israel military must prevail. To turn the other cheek would show weakness.

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