I don’t understand conflict between Israel and Palestine. Just don’t get it. There are a thousand points of merit between both debate teams and, I have to say, that my overall impression doesn’t not fall on the side of favor of Israel. Here’s my simple take. Judge me if you like, but I’m an American trying to make sense of a seemingly irrational conflict that makes me want to slap all participating parties with a thin, wooden yardstick and yell, “Snap out of it!” (ten points to anyone who can site the actress and the movie from which that quotation originates… well, five because it’s damn easy. it’s, like, Tommy Boy easy)
In a massive, indefensible oversimplification of the issue, here’s my take:
Israel – I recognize the Jewish people have been relentlessly persecuted throughout history in almost every corner of habitation they attempted to settle long term. Having reached a frustration of biblical proportions, this massive group of people somehow came to a united decision over a few decades to return to the land they claim given to them by God. Why God would put a bunch of Arabs in the land Jews feel they’re entitled to, who knows? Maybe it’s a cosmic practical joke. I wouldn’t put it past the God of Abraham. If he’ll stick a living man in a whale for three days, I’m sure he his pranks have heartless, limitless possibilities.
Palestine – The Palestinians have now found themselves on the persecuted side of demography, pushed out of their lands, barred from their holy places, relegated behind mountainous hurdles preventing them from establishing a decent livelihood. Not unacquainted with violence, the Palestinians have, thus, resorted to civilian attacks (ahem, terrorism), rockets, bombs, and many other vehicles of death and destruction as a method to retain a place at the discussion table regarding their territory. So far they’ve been unsuccessful. Imagine that.
Because the fates of our countries are inextricably linked, Israel is given a green light far too often for many of their oppressive policies. And I find that American media is disappointingly pro-Israel. 60 Minutes, however, aired a fantastic piece Jan. 25 regarding the current state and possible future of the conflict and I highly recommend viewing the piece in its entirety. It deserves an award. As, I have not figured out how to embed CBS video on this wordpress blog, I’m providing both the link to the CBS site and the video of it posted on youtube.
Link to CBS report and video: Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?
Or you can watch it here:
My only problem with the report is that Bob Simon did not ask the Jewish Settler Mayor in the West Bank about the issue of apartheid, the idea that they are pushing people out who were born on those lands and how can a people who faced the sharp end of oppression for centuries can now commit the same atrocities of their former oppressors. There’s a sick “history repeats itself” theme here. I would have pushed the woman for greater clarification, hopefully delving deep enough to find some sympathetic echoes in her soul.
My basic conclusion is that when your domestic and foreign policy is based on the words of a mythical god that no one else recognizes, reason and logic and common sense have no room to improve decision-making. As the rest of the world slowly awakens from its religious dark days, theocratic Israel (and theocratic Muslims) will find fewer and fewer friends willing to buttress their outrageous actions of state.
While I am anxious to hear more views on this topic, it is one of those touchy issues where all relevant voices are shouting too loud to either listen or be heard. It’s basically a clusterfuck that will break and harden hearts for years and years to come.