Thursday, December 02, 2010

No Hope

Just when I thought I could not get more depressed about the prospects for peace between Israel and Palestine, I learn that the departments of education of both Israel and Palestine have banned a unique textbook designed by Israeli and Palestinian educators entitled “Learning Each Other’s Historical Narrative.”

The book places the Israeli and Palestinian versions of the history of their homelands side by side, allowing children on both sides to learn how the other understands the history they take for granted. Of course both versions are controversial in the eyes of the other, but that is the point. There is no “true” history, there is only the narrative histories told by each side’s historians. And being able to see the reality the other sees is a huge step toward authentic dialogue and empathy.

Of course the leaders on both sides fear both empathy and dialogue, and so both have banned the book from public high school curriculums. How sad.

On the other hand it does show that the leadership of both sides are not really on opposite sides at all. They are on the same side: the side of fear and hatred that keeps them in power.

Just as the Israelites could not enter the Promised Land until almost all of the older generation passed away, peace may not come to the region until all those currently in power are pass away. The questions we must ask are these: how many generations of status quo leadership are left; and how many people must die before these leaders finally die?

2 comments:

Grégoire said...

On the other hand it does show that the leadership of both sides are not really on opposite sides at all. They are on the same side: the side of fear and hatred that keeps them in power.

bang! the hits keep coming!

there will be no peace anywhere until the working people of both sides in israel-palestine (same country, lets face it) see each other as having more in common than the tiny handful of fatcats who keep them fighting among themselves.

i always found it interesting as a teenager to note that all the palestinian leadership had posh homes in europe while the people were "oppressed". similar to old netanyahu with his mansion in pennsylvania. when/if the shit hit the fan, all these dirtbags would probably rub shoulders together at the same resorts abroad while their people fought it out, tooth and claw. laughable and pathetic.

. said...

Gregoire your post is nonsensical, Israel and palestine are not the same country in the minds of their respective claimants - the one is an Arabic speaking primarily Moslem or post-Moslem entity, the other is a Hebrew speaking primarily jewish or post-Jewish entity. neither people wishes to be homogenised and "dissapeared" and Netanyahu lives quite humbly compared to many other heads of state and tries t live up to the legacy of his father and heroic brother Yoni Netanyahu.

People get the leaders they deserve and leaders are never soley responsible for a situation, they are merely refelctions of a national concensus or a national paralysis, in this case.

While Israel has often treated Palestinians in a mean spirited and petty way, ignorin th Palestinian narrative and striving to delegitimize it, many Palestinians have reacted with generosity, giving Israelis knives, bullets, bombs packed with nails and bolts, mortars, rockets on schools and hospitals, and 40 years of racial and religious vilification.