Thursday, June 3, 2010
Flotilla-blogging and Israel/Palestine Issues
I'm generally a jack-of-all-trades sort of blogger, who'll just as easily give forth regarding Afghan/Pakistan tribalism and Islamism or insert my $.02 regarding Iran, but I sure don't like to blog about the Middle East conflict all that much. For one thing, I'm hampered by my disdain for taking sides in a conflict where so much of it seems to be built up on tit for tat. People can try to talk about the deep history of Zionism going back to Herzl, or even talk about what is commemorated among Palestinians as the Nabka. But I don't care for that. The Palestinians are a young people, demographically. Wars have seen to that. And too many of the Gazan people only know occupation. They are taught to hate, and given real-time examples of why they should. And this sort of thing also contributes to the idea that Israel is a monster.
Is it? Objectively, I can appreciate the precarious sitution of a Democratic Jewish state situated amongst Islamic nations of varying political expressions that has not ever felt welcomed. But subjectively, I understand that the wars that made this brave nation created a refugee situation, and border disputes, and active causes for trouble. And I think these have to be acknowledged even by Israel's defenders. To state, as has sometimes been stated, that Israel was a country without a people for a people without a country, is simply wrong. There were Palestinians. And there still are. They have land records and histories. I don't think these should be ignored.
I'm not choosing sides. Hamas and the militant arm of pro-Palestinian advocates have too-often adopted terrorism as their modus operandi, to the detriment of the Palestinian people as a whole. This method has been not just ineffective, but disastrous, but has aparently been subsidized by Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia by way of paying the families of shaheed for their troubles. It's amazing to me that Palestinians haven't learned to hate the other Arab nations more than they hate the Israelis, for being so willing to see Palestinian youth snuff it as pawns for a political cause. But there, it apparently is. It's too easy to ask "Where are the Palestinian MLK's and Gandhi's?" But that, too, oversimplifies.
The reality is that Palestinian youth today don't know anything but occupation. And the method Israel has of dealing with the disaffected is war--militancy. But the world looks at this area of Gaza, "on a diet" and shudders. These are people who have been denied hope. Where people have no hope, they will live on revenge. Can't "never again" please extend to these stone-throwing Davids? Can't they be excused for not wanting a disapora to Jordan and Syria, for not wanting to lose their identities? I am not the one who wants to impose a false equivalncy, since all oppression is relative and unique, but....damn.
When the ship sent by Ireland and refused by Hamas is named the Rachel Corrie , Israel needs to accept they are the losers, even if they succeeded in representing their abilities to overwhelm a humanitarian flotilla, talk of Turkish terrorist sympathizers and "useful idiots" aside.
That shit is for propagandists. "Turkish Al Queda"."Nobel-prize-winning useful idiots". And the presence of bullet-proof jackets and gas masks among people who might have expected confrontation--not weapons, but defensive protections. Smart protestors on land in the US might make precautions against the possibility of riot-police descending with gas and rubber bullets. It's part of the deal.
Lamesauce, Israel. When a Turkish-American boy of 19 is shot four times in the head--the illusion that the violence of the response to the attempted breaking of the blockade, that threatened to continue to starve and stunt a generation of people, was self-defense, is broken.
I believe Israel has every right to exist. But the way it has is not sustainable. And the answer is not this kind of violence. There needs to be a humanitarien solution. But the Palestinians also need to wake up from the violent dream.
I hate blogging about this. Both sides need to bridge such a gap--altogether possible. Just hard to make happen.