The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bothering me for pretty much the same reasons it bothers most people - senseless violence, cruelty, hatred, anger, suffering, etc etc etc, right? And then the excuses, the rationales, the "they started it", and all the other crap. I have no idea what it's like to be there, go thru it on any side (and the 2-sided model is too simplistic), and so I try my best not to be too judgemental when it comes to reacting to each horrible news story that comes to me from other there. But I must admit a certain frustration and anger at views that don't even attempt to come close to suggesting solutions, or paths to some way for folks to live peacefully and securely.
Things like " if it weren't for Israel, Sept 11th would never have happened" - "those people over there only understand violence, so we need to just blow them all away" - "the rules are different, we can't play fair if they don't play fair" - etc etc etc. I can't suggest solutions, but I have yet to see where anyone, with any opinion on that problem over there, can rightly justify killing people as a means to actually solving this problem. Sure, this guy feels he needs to defend himself; that guy needs to lash out cuz yesterday something horrible happened to his town; but is it getting anyone closer to what they actually want? The most simplistic view of what "each side" wants is this, right - Israel wants safety/securtiy; Palestinians want an independent state. Each won't get what it wants without the other getting what it wants, right?
While I don't really understand the specifics of each event, and I admittedly turn the tv, radio, or newspaper off since I don't see that I'll get clarity, just anger, sadness, and depression - in the "bigger picture" I guess what perplexes me is the lack of a serious non-violent movement from the Palestinians. I mean, strictly strategically speaking, this method of rock-throwing, suicide bombing, etc, is not going to get a chunk of land to call your own. Israel is going to continue to counter-attack, defend, occupy, whatever word you choose to use to describe t, and more folks die, and suffer. Why isn't there a movement of folks who stage large sit-ins, hungerstrikes, whatever- even further- folks who are willing to DIE, and yet not KILL, for their cause. I don't know, completely unarmed civilians, walking up to tanks or troops - that would take what is clearly the focus of the world on to their actual demands - land, independence. We can all conveniently just look at the horrors of the murdered civilians, and never, ever get past that - that's just human nature, we are going to identify with the victims. Human nature seems to be able to respect folks who are willing to die for a cause, but it takes a lot more to feel for folks who are killing for a cause - an understanding of that ought to get Palestinians who truly want an independent homeland to change tactics - now!
I dunno, it's so horribly sad; a small number of very determined people are managing to fuck things up for millions and millions of others who deserve repect, a safe and secure place to live, and a voice in how their own lives are lived. How do you get from where we are now, to that place that seems so reasonable?