Last Sunday I wrote, “There will be no peace between Israel and Palestine, at least not until one side annihilates the other.” Now watch the news: somebody reads my blog.
I have no love for Hamas, and wouldn’t mind seeing all terrorists of every stripe suddenly raptured to wherever terrorists get raptured to, but I doubt Israel believes in the rapture, and if they think this new military venture in Gaza is going to promote either security or peace or the coming of the Messiah, they are insane.
Forget who's right and who's wrong. Forget that Israel is trying to get away with whatever it can while Bush/Cheney are still in power. Forget that now everyone running for Prime Minister in Israel looks tough or terror, and can plead her/his case to the Israeli right-wing. Forget that no other nation in the world would sit still while a neighbor lobs rockets and mortars into its cities on a daily basis. Forget that Hamas has sworn to annihilate Israel. Forget moral equivalency, in fact forget morality altogether. Nobody on either side of this conflict really gives a damn about any of this. The people who fire rockets into Israel or order bombs dropped on Gaza don’t care about morality, they just want to win. But there is no winning.
Hamas cannot destroy Israel. Israel cannot destroy Hamas. Even the US would turn on Israel if she attempted the genocide the Palestinians fear, and though I am not sure who would come to the aid of Israel if genocide was once again perpetrated against the Jews, Israel would choose the Masada Option and blow the whole region to nuclear hell with her last breath. Everyone knows this, so nobody is going to take things that far. Instead they will continue this cycle of kill and over-kill until everyone who can has moved out of the region, and those who are left are too weak to throw whatever they have left to throw at one another anymore.
I feel so angry, frustrated, and powerless. Sure I can yell and scream and send money to promote peace, but that seems so abstract, so removed from the human pain and suffering that is the Palestinian-Israeli Tragedy (stop calling it a conflict; conflicts end, this never does). I need to do something more.
Our local newspaper published an article about a Palestinian family here in the ‘Boro. The husband’s mother and sisters live in Gaza, and he worries for their lives. So do I. So I called him. His phone was disconnected. I called our local mosque, but they weren’t answering. I emailed the sheikh of the mosque asking to meet with him, to pass on my prayers to the family, and to join with me to hold a prayer vigil for peace on New Year’s Eve. I haven’t yet heard back.
2009 is going to open with bloodshed. Death and violence continues to define us as a species. The Creationists are right: we humans don't evolve; we haven’t changed since Cain murdered Abel. War is our passion. Death is our obsession. We learn nothing from the past.
Do something different this year. Reach out to the Other with an open hand rather than a clenched fist. Offer dialogue rather than diatribe, bonding rather than bombing. Try something, anything to bridge the gaps between us. It may not save our species but at least you can say to the apes that will inherit the earth that you tried.