Hard, Political

A naive opinion about the Middle East

Thursday, January 22, 2009  

Without having studied it as much as it deserves, I am taking a stab at a topic that provokes extremely powerful and complex reactions.  My point-of-view may change drastically over time, but I have to start somewhere. 

Solving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian states is maybe the biggest challenge of our times, to put it mildly. Both sides are extremely stubborn and refuse to see the other as human. As a Jew I find it hard to accept Hamas for its stated inistance to destroy Israel. However, Israel has not made many friends by blowing the shit out of the Gaza strip and killing thousands. (I don’t believe in making distinctions between civilians and non-civilians, as they are all lives equal under their respective gods.)

There are many big expectations for Barrack Obama, though no one in their right mind expects him to be able to help resolve this situation. Nevertheless, the US has always played an important role in this part of the world and will have to take a strong stand. But maybe the new president can do something positive via his intelligent and respectful approach.

I personally am not all that comfortable with Hamas in control, but now they are more popular than ever in the Palestinian state largely thanks to the Israel government’s intention to destroy them. A common enemy unites people. Israel is united in its fight against dangerous Palestinian extremists, and the Palestine nation is united in  its struggle against Israeli agression and repression. Over years of knowing all sorts of Israelis and Arabs, I believe that the majority only desire peace without malice toward the others. But I have also met Israelis who think of all Arabs as the most dishonest animals on the planet. And I have met Arabs who believe the same about all Israelis. This is a problem ingrained in the culture.

Whether we like it or not, the popularity of Hamas is a fact in Palestine today. And the more they are resisted by Israel, the US and other countries, they will contiunue to gain popularity, not the other way around. There needs to be an accord where the Palestinian state is free to choose their own government in the way they see fit, but in exchange the Hamas needs to drop the bit about the need to anhiliate Israel. Neither nation has to love the other, just respect the other’s right to exist independently. This could be a good first step. Is this possible, or would the people of the Middle East prefer to continue living with unnecessary bloodshed and fear?

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