Thursday, March 07, 2002

I woke up today genuinely depressed about the situation in Israel and Palestine. PapaDoc blogged it today and provided some link to a very misguided soul trying to draw parallels to the Roman occupation of Judea. Very misguided, indeed. The analogy is flawed and the notion is uncivilized. The root of the problem is that both sides are unwilling to sit at a table and talk peace. I liked Mark Bowden's description of the mental condition of the Somali's with respect to their long running civil conflict, in Black Hawk Down. After speaking with Somali's of different factions he concludes that no one really wants peace. Each side only wants victory over the other. In my mind this applies to the conflict among the Israelis and the Paletinians. Either side can not win under the current situation. Their mindset is that each side wants victory. Israel can not hope to gain anything by continuing to brutalize the Palestinians. It's apparently even too much for the State Department. How can they possibly feel that more violence is the way to peace. Of couse we've given any state the green light if they claim they are fighting terrorism so I guess that was a semi-silly question. Still Israel stands to loose more and more support from its allies if all we see are images of them killing Palestinians. On the other side how can the Palestinians hope to gain anything by violently resisting the occupation? They have limited resources at best and they are facing a very determined adversary. This is not a foreign army they are repelling. This is not Israel's Viet Nam. The only thing the Palestinians can achieve is more senseless loss of life and increased marginalization due to their tactics. Suicide bombers do not play well on American TV nor are they a good use of young, motivated human beings. The Palestinians could only hope to widen the conflict which would be disasterous to the region. There is no way for them to win. So what can be done? In my opinion, both sides need to stop fighting now. Israel should retreat from the occupied territories. The Palestinians should cease their activities both in Palestine and in Israel. Short of that the Palesinians should go non-violent. It would send a message to the world that they really want peace and it would force Israel to stop their offensive. There could be no justification for Israel continuing to kill people who would lay down unarmed at the checkpoints. The Palestinians could really change a lot if they chose non-violence. With or without Arafat they must take the initiative and lay down their weapons. It is their best hope.

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