So here we are again. The Middle East on the brink of a regional war that is more dangerous than the other wars that have taken place. Why ? Because the world is much more connected than it was even 20 years ago. What happens in one region has a knock on effect in other places. The most obvious knock on effect in this case would be the price of oil hitting $78+.
The cause of this crisis ? Hezbollah and it's continued rocket attacks on Israel which climaxed with the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. Has Israel's response been a bit heavy handed ? Yes it has, but you must understand that Israel is a nation under siege in the middle east. You cannot expect it to react in any other way than to crush what it deems to be a direct threat to the state of Israel.
But that does not excuse the deaths of innocent civilians killed by Israeli forces or Israeli citizens killed by militants from Hamas or Hezbollah. It is a cycle of violence that has to stop. I don't believe a ceasefire would work unless the underlaying causes are tackled.
Some of those being (there are so many it would take up several pages to state them all):
Palestinian militant groups with the sole goal of destroying the state of Israel.
Arab nations with a similar goal.
Israel's desire to secure it's future and to live in peace with it's neighbours – it sometimes over reacts and hits back with too much force.
The issues of land ownership between the Israeli's and Palestinians.
The issue of prisoners.
But while tensions remain high and mutual hatred of Jewish people exists between the Arab nations then the problems will continue to grow and a war of unimaginable terror will take place eventually.
The only nation in the Middle East that seems to have gained some benefit from this crisis is Iran. It was extremely odd that the violence broke out just as Iran had to give it's answer to the deal it was offered by the US and co over it's Nuclear desires. Iran is a slightly worrying factor in this, as the Iranian president has already stated his desire to wipe Israel off the map. The religious leaders of Iran are the problem. But that is a subject for another time.
What i want to see is all the Israeli soldiers released (including the one Hamas took) and for Israel to pull back from the brink of starting a war it probably does not want.
I may have some idealistic desires for the middle east, however in reality they are unlikely to happen unless some miracle takes place. Though one must remain hopeful for the future otherwise one becomes nihilistic. Which in itself can feed into situation and make it worse.