Friday, April 16, 2004

Why Israel and Palestine are so messed up

Reason number 3,458,721.

There's a picture on yahoo news today that's really set me off.

What did this old man do (slide show here) to deserve getting his house demolished?

Jacob Mirza, a Palestinian Christian, checks the damage to his house after Israeli troops attacked his neighbor's house looking for two Palestinian militants in Bethlehem April 15,2004.

Will the Israeli government be compensating him for the damage (in the photo there is a huge nearly completely collapsed wall, and sunlight seems to be coming in from somewhere. That's more than damage, that's destruction...)? Will they provide him with a temporary place to stay until its rebuilt? Will it even ever get repaired, or will he be forced to live in squalor? Was the attack on his neighbors carried out with any consideration as to the innocent people nearby? Most importantly, if this old man had been a young man, do you think the destruction of his home would increase or decrease the possibility of his becoming a suicide bomber?

This is a self-perpetuating situation. The roots of the Palestinian-Israeli problem lie, I think, in the ideas left over from European colonialism. (Most of the 'problem areas' of the world, Africa to the Middle East especially, can trace their problems back to European colonialism of the past two centuries.) However, as long as the violence is responded to with more violence it is a self-perpetuating situation, and will not end until everybody's dead.

When will the Israeli government learn that if you take away everything from someone, then they have nothing at all to lose, and that puts them in an incredible position of power over you. Like our own dumbass actions in Fallujah of late, the Israelis seem to doing all the recruiting for the terrorists.

For that matter, when will Hamas and Hezbollah and all those other fuckwads learn that the more they kill innocent people eating lunch, doing some shopping, or riding a bus on the way to work, the more the IDF will bring its heel down on the neck of their old men, their children, their women, their boys.

Truth be told, I don't think the leaders of either side of this conflict give a damn what happens to the people they're supposed to be representing. Their hearts are so blindly packed with hate for their enemy that they would sacrifice the lives of the people they surmise to represent. To paraphrase Medea, Hamas loathes Sharon more than they love the Palestinian children. And the same can be said for Sharon and his Likudniks.

This conflict makes me so frustrated that I literally want to scream or punch a wall or something. To me, the solution seems so simple. Personally I believe that it was the highest of arrogance to presume that it was okay to hand over a huge amount of land that was already occupied by other people (although not at all out of character with the history of colonialism, read the history of sub-saharan Africa of the past 150 years), but that's over and done with. We can't take that back at this point, and shouldn't. However, I think it's only fair to say that taking control of areas of land in a war is not cool. Saddam Hussein didn't get to do it, why does Israel? (Although with my own country's shameful history of "Manifest Destiny," I shouldn't really be talking, either.)

Feel free to flame me and call me anti-Semitic now. Tell me all about how I hate Jews and apologize for terrorists.

Deep down inside I think what really mystifies me is why there just can't be one big state with everyone living together like normal humans, and intermarry until everyone was an attractive cafe-au-lait color and there was an interesting syncretism of the religious beliefs. They could call it Palistael. Israstine. Whatever.

Or maybe Sharon and Arafat should be made to sit in the same room, fed Ecstasy, and forced to listen to first-hand accounts of Israeli mothers who had to itentify the shrapnel-ridden bodies of their teenage daughters in the morgue, and Palestinian children who had to watch as their mother was crushed to death under the collapsed roof of their home as bulldozes were tearing down their neighborhood. Maybe then they'd get some freaking empathy.

Humph. I'm just waiting for the Canaanites to show up and claim the whole area as their homeland, and exile the Israelis somewhere. I would definitely have to laugh.

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