t minus x days (and counting) »
There really is just about nothing to say about the situation in Israel and Palestine. You could trivialize it, I suppose; perhaps it's like this rainy, now humid weather mugging New England: It would take an Act of God to lift. Or, it's like that one sunny day we had, Tuesday, when I actually went and hiked up a mountain: The fading memory of a more hopeful moment just isn't the least bit satisfying any more. Or it's like the workers and machines that have been cutting trees outside my house since 7 this morning — we're all the victims of hateful, destructive men. It's hard not to trivialize it, even; an Israeli woman at the scene of yesterday's bus bombing, when asked by the BBC News what she most wanted, said she wanted to see sports news on the front pages.
But, trivialities aside, the only real hope is still that those Palestinians who actually wish for peace with Israel will gain some sort of power over those who wish to destroy it at nearly any cost; and there still doesn't seem to be much hope of that. Israel's retaliatory attacks on Hamas no doubt dim that hope more than they brighten it, but it's so dim anyway it's difficult to think it matters all that much.
June 12, 2003 11:21 AM
You're absolutely right when you say there are those who wish to destroy it [the peace process] at any cost. Their organization is built on the hatred of Israel. It wouldn't endure peace. Groups like Hamas depend on that hatred for it's survival. Peace would only bring about the downfall of those groups, so they must perpetuate the war as long as they can.
Posted by Brendon on June 12, 2003 12:44 PM
Um... The Hamas ain't *quite* built on bricks of hate. Why, believe it or not, the Hamas was founded as a social-services organisation.
You see, despite more than plentiful funding for the knitted-kippa-faction (Settlers/Israel's future Fifth Column (can we all say "civil war"?)), those humans literally stuck in refugee camps within the Occupied Territories recieve little to no funding from the State of Israel. So, things like hospitals, clinics, schools, and sewage systems lack funds or infrastructure support. In this vacuum was the Hamas created.
(By International Law, and even HaShem's Law, we are obligated to care for those under our control, not just those of similar blood and beliefs.)
So, believe it or not, unlike organisations like HaGanah pre-State, the Hamas actually started as a social-services organisation; Only in recent history did they form a military branch.
Why, if you read Western publications, you'd think the Hamas was primarily producing Qassam rockets and suicide belts for use behind the Green Line, not the hospitals and schools that receive the majority of their funds and time within walled and squalid refugee camps.
The Hamas, and its current heated bent, are all the result of Israeli inaction *and* actions. I dunno, but am I the only one here who sees a Ts'hal" literally set upon the destruction of all Palestinian leadership? Maybe, once all their figure heads are dead, we'll no longer hear their pleas and case in the West?
Posted by rob adams on June 12, 2003 1:57 PM
I never see this issue discussed without an apportioning of blame. And blame is at least a huge part of the problem. I think there is a need to stop concentrating on who is worse and who did what, and try to find ways to stop it from happening again. To borrow a metaphor from Macbeth, both sides are "in blood stept in so farre, that should [they] wade no more, returning were as tedious as go ore". I have no clue how this situation can be resolved. "It will haue blood they say: Blood will haue Blood". I think any resolution would need to start with a widespread recognition of this fact, and that would seem to be nearly impossible while you're soaking in it. Not sure even why I'm discussing this issue, since I have told myself not to so many times. I'm not even personally involved, and yet watching it all unfold on television, I am emotionally scarred by the terrible human tragedy. So I guess that at least I have the right to say that I want it all to stop, and don't care who started it any more.
Posted by dan on June 13, 2003 9:35 AM
there is a need to stop concentrating on who is worse and who did what, and try to find ways to stop it from happening again.
Yes, exactly. Hamas is not the only organization whose most essential function is social services but which is demonized for terrorizing another populace -- the same could be said of Israel itself. But it doesn't matter how one might describe the history, so much as what is done in the present, for sake of the future. The past offers no defense for Hamas's evident wish to perpetuate the hatred and the killing.
Posted by Matt on June 13, 2003 10:20 AM
For Jews, everywhere, this ain't about blamne. It's about doing what is right.
Zionism has been hijacked, and the dati right have become a subversive, anti-State cause within Israel. They need to be dealt with accordingly (jail and/or deportation).
The inneptitude of the Religious Radical Right in Israel's cabinet is showing its full colors. They bankrupt the social coffers, distribute any remainiung wealth to shoddy political groups in the territories (i.e., Yesha Council's cohorts) or substandard religious schools, and manage to burn any remaining bridges diplomatically remaining in our foreign policy.
Israel's only future hope is to become a fully secular state, and a fully democractic state without racist preconditions. It's our Zionist mandate, and moral obligation.
Zionism (and Judaism) was not designed to be a moral shortcut to fulfill your desires, nor were the mechanism of State that these movements subsequently created.
All of this (all of it) is becoming a growing sentiment in Israel's academic and secular culture, despite all the blood and brains being sold at Mechane Yehuda by Sharon and his conspirators.
Posted by rob adams on June 13, 2003 12:21 PM
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