My brother, a PhD student, lives in Be’er Sheva, Israel. He’s a contributing member of his community, a husband and a father, leading a productive young professional life, just like his peers in Boston or Lisbon.
But when you live in Boston or Lisbon your neighbors don’t fire rockets at you; My brother’s neighbors do, and by that they drag his entire life into a scene from another movie. Imagine sitting at a Starbucks in Colonial Calcutta, something like that.
The men on the firing end are not disenfranchised or occupied, in fact, with so much attention and resources thrown at Gaza they could have been in high-tech. No, these men suffer from an entirely different malaise: Religious insanity.
The shooters could have easily studied or worked with my brother across the border - I can think of 2 dozen organizations that would love to finance such an initiative. But instead, they drag my scientist brother into their own miserable, narrow-minded, 3rd-world life.
Those who just tuned in on Wednesday, when Israel attacked, don’t know about my brother’s situation. The daily attrition is beyond most people’s scope of attention, thus they’re thrown, again, head-on into the boiling Middle-Eastern pool without a basic understanding of why things tend to so often boil over there. It’s clear why many peaceful people fail to see the cause-and-effect element here, why they can’t identify the source, the engine of violence, and seek its removal - for a real change.
Change? The automatic reactions are sobering:
Israel’s action is about the coming elections, suggested Israeli PM Ahmed Tibi, in a typical circumstantial-evidence-gone-wild spin. Egypt condemned “Israeli aggression against innocents”. The fact that Egypt had been on mute while 12,000 rockets rained on the innocents in Israel, and now argues that the slain rocket-rain-maker is the aggressed innocent, says it all about the moral and conscious system of the Islamist culture represented here: selective violence, selective rights, selective justice, selective truth. There’s no hope for this culture.
Moscow condemned Israel’s “excessive use of force”. This is so clearly a half-assed pull from the Kremlin’s “phrases for any occasion” hat:
-“Excessive - isn’t that what we usually tell them?”
-”Well, give it to them again, than.”
That’s the Russian way of handling issues that deal with human lives. They’re perfecting it with Syria.
Hamas positions itself as the symbol of Palestinian “Resistance” and patriotism. It’s working pretty well for them, but in reality they’re the current sorry symbol of Palestinian self-inflicted misery, a misery they’re dragging my brother into right now.
What a tragic twist. The Hamas’ “Resistance” is resistance to peace, and anyone who believes that peace is the only way to justice and prosperity should be able to see the problem here. Being the reckless, quite mad anti-peace player in this high-octane game, the Hamas is as anti-Palestinian as it’s anti-Israeli and is equally destructive to all human beings - that’s if you’re a peace seeker, of course. (If you’re for war-until-triumph, they’re actually pretty cool).
But the common perception remains that of simply “Israelis against Palestinians”, an equation in which things should be balanced, so no one comes out too defeated. Ironically the ideology that believes in defeating as a solution to the conflict is the beneficiary of this misperception. In the grand scheme of things, at the end of the day international dynamics always allow this ideology to persist, which will inevitably bring about the next round of violence.
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