Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Peace in the Middle East

There's a lot of discussion going on about what's going on "over there". I've heard all kinds of folks whispering "World War III." Allah and God forbid.

My head about exploded when I heard about the firepower inspired supposedly by two kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

All of this destruction for two soldiers who volunteered to serve in an army? And governments retaliate on non-governmental organizations by targeting civilians? Does Spain do this with the Basques? Does the U.S. do this with the KKK?

C'mon, man. This killing crap just doesn't make sense. It was Mandela's birthday yesterday. Were they celebrating? The man spent a hell of a lot of his 88 years in jail and came out of it peaceful and became president. He didn't blow people up to forward his cause.

I used to watch the news when I was very young. The footage on the air today could be the footage from Lebanon in the 80s as well. I feel like we haven't made much progress as a planet as far as conflict resolution goes and it's messing with me, big time. I mean, if I learned that conflict resolution couldn't include harming others and the majority of folks I know also learn this, then where does it leak into the system? I would like to think that our leaders would use greater temperance than less sophisticated members of society who want to settle things by taking it outside.

It's ridiculous. I feel like we're acting childish. And, yes, I know I am naive for these observations, but I am sick and tired of people doing stupid crap to show some bravado. The consequences reach beyond the egos of the involved parties. REAL PEOPLE get scared and hurt. And that is NOT COOL.

I've been scrambling for solutions. Perhaps this organization provides some?

Foundation for Middle East Peace

If nothing else, I can support on July 29th in San Francisco. One of my students is Christian Palestinian. She's brilliant and always checking in to say hello. here's a Jerusalem Middle-East Food Festival at 473 Euchalyptus Drive in San Francisco. The festival happens all weekend and features food, music and dancing.

Okay, so it's not world peace. It may not stave off the powder keg that is warming up at the meeting of Europe, Africa, and Asia. But a celebration has to count for something and stem the tide of this ridiculousness!



Karen said...

I feel you on this. I think that's why I like sci fi so much. Not that the characters don't also manage to find new and novel ways to blow each other up. But at least in space there's an illusion of a fresh start; and if someone wants to kill you, they have to travel really, REALLY far to do it. Not right across a border. And certainly not for something as stupid as payback for taking 2 prisoners of war.

Capturing one's enemy in warfare is probably stupid, but I'd rather that than obliterating anyone who happens to live near, look like or walk past one's enemy.

Needling stupidity by the powerless and disproportionate arrogance of power by the powerful never ends well. For anybody.

*sigh" Where's my Firefly?

Roger Williams said...

First of all - thanks so much for remembering my birthday! You remember even before my mother does. Amazing!

As to the Israeli army kidnappings, unlike our volunteer army, military service is compulsory in Israel for both men and women. Just as in the United States, no man or woman is left behind, and every effort is made to retrieve soldiers behind enemy lines. That's simply part of the Israeli social contract: you're asked to shoulder an enormous responsbility to the continuance of the state, but in return, you are promised the full protection of the state (see also the 1972 Munich debacle).