Friday, December 26, 2008


I am jewish. Up until my second year of college, at SUNY Albany, I supported Israeli in their treatment of the Palestinians. I was engrained with the view that Israel had to protect itself from terrorists. Than a friend of my mentioned another point of view on the subject in the form of some articles written on a progressive website that I still frequent, Common

This article showed another perspective. Forgetting what group you belong to. Forgetting what your holy book of preference is. I saw a people being mistreated. A majority of a nation abusing the minority. I saw a people who were up there as some of the most abused cultures of the century, abusing another culture. 

Being someone who has always found it easy to put myself in another's shoes I felt for the Palestinian people. If you are a human, in my view, its hard not too. And as a Jew I cannot comprehend that my culture would treat another with anything except the utmost humanity.  If i am bullied in school I know the feeling of being abused, thus making it hard for me to abuse another. But to me, that is what is happening. 

Both sides have an argument.  And if you grew up in either culture you would relate. 
If you grew up hearing stories about how your native lands for thousands of years was taken by western superpowers and given to another culture, and when your culture fought to take it back you were beaten by western military technology, how can you not be upset. 

If  walls encircle your neighborhood you should be upset. If you must pass military checkpoints to move freely and you spend half a day to go places that used to take a few minutes you should be upset.  If you relied on UN food deliveries in order to survive it has got to hurt. As a man your pride has got to be hurting. And now imagine deliveries are no longer allowed to enter, food resources, medical resources, electricity, basic components of life are taken from you, how mad would you be. Very is an understatement. 

Look at Greece. Rioting for weeks. Malatof cocktails thrown and hitting police. All because a 15 was shot and killed by the police and the town is fed up. Well right now the Palestinian people are being starved. They are firing rockets into Israel. Israeli's response is to hold back more food and more medical products.

What's the answer, I don't know. Is peace possible? Always. Are there some Palestinians and Israeli's who would never tolerate a peace, absolutely.

From the Israeli perspective, your towns are being rocketed daily. And in the late 90's during Arafats tenure and the intafada public transportation bus's were being suicide bombed on the regular. This has to infuriate israeli's. I started this by saying how can an abused culture abuse another? Some defend Israel's aggressive stance by saying they must take these actions in order to prevent another holocaust. 

But to me the answer is not to decimate an entire culture. It's not to starve an entire culture. In Iraq we only made progress by talking to our enemies. In Afghanistan, president Karzai is talking to his enemies. After WWII we helped rebuild Germany and Japan. Its the only answer in my view. Yet no one really gave the democratically elected government of Hamas a chance. 

They were elected for some reason. Meaning they have the support of the people. One argument goes, the palestinians do not want peace, Arafat was given a chance at peace and he turned it down. Well remember that Arafat represented one Palestinian faction, the PLO. Why not try with Hamas. 

But wait a minute, the palestinians only want to kill every last Jew. Really? People really believe this.  Maybe they want to but they wouldnt actually do it. I bet during the 60's in the southern USA when blacks were being lynched hourly, I bet many blacks wanted to kill every last white man. Every last christian. 

What if what we have in israel is a handful of disgruntled Palestinians who are firing the rockets, why do we need to make the entire Palestinian culture suffer? Do we in the USA solve gang violence in south central L.A. or in the Bronx by putting up a wall around the community, and eventually calling in the air-force to level the place. Why dont we? Because its wrong? Because killing 10,000 to stop 50 is not the right approach? So why is this behavior tolerated in Gaza.

All I am saying is people do strange things when you cage them, and take away their pride, hurt their family, starve them, and strip them of the bare essentials life has to offer. Think how you would act in such a situation. Imagine America was occupied by a foriegn power, colonized.  Would we revolt? Would we suicide bombs? How far would you go to ensure your family was not abused? How far would you go to feed your family?

Now start asking yourself new questions. Why does the world stand for israel but against saddam? And what i mean by that is why does Israel have the most UN resolutions condemning their actions than any other nation, but no nation has acted to stop their abusive nature, while on the other hand the world unites to topple saddam after a few UN resolutions? 

Why does the world know about south ossetia, which made the evening news regularly for a week straight while a genocide is occurring on the African continent in the Congo that some have called the first african world war, and nothing is on the tv?

These questions might lead you down a path you don't want answers for. It might change who you are as a person. Maybe the world and the people running it and the United States are not as rosey as you read about in grade school. 

But than again,maybe its me who is way off base.

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