Israel vs Palestine: Trust

A huge problem I have negotiating the very rough waters of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is trust.

Both sides have such a problem seeing and understanding the other that the views pouring out of that miasma are convoluted and stained with assumption.  The pro-Palestine side seems to think a rain of rockets is a mild annoyance, and the pro-Israel side follows the act of American conservative who think civilian deaths are “sad but necessary”.

It gets worse when I talk to friends and family, who share very believable stories about atrocities committed by either side.  Then the digging starts.  Into the past, to reveal the UN’s historical animosity towards Israel.  Into news stories, where single-witness accounts are considered foul-proof evidence of deliberate civilian-targeting in some publications and others ignore the massive pile up of evidence that Israel is using chemical warfare.

I’m finally understanding why Palestinians fire rockets, and why Israelis resort to whatever means “will hurt them most”.  But I find myself in a place where every post from my super liberal friend decrying “Zionists” and every QassamCount status update from my more conservative friend both leave angry.  That pro-Palestine friend is using the language of the insane and the violent.

So in the end I find cause to trust neither side, though in most cases I trust the people espousing one or the other.  I fall back into my old and reassuring thought pattern that violence is without intelligence or justification.  And I look upon my people (which, with an honest look at my history, coming from that region means both sides of this stupid conflict) with disgust and pity.  Their leaders and their fighters are choosing blood even as their supporters choose blindness.

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One Response

  1. Unfortunately, it is easier to just say “I don’t want to deal with this” and “I can’t trust anyone” than it is to delve into the facts pertaining to any problem. I make no claim that either side is completely right or completely wrong. Life is not that simple. If I come across a situation in which one side has it’s actions justified in 75 to 80 percent of the time, and the other side has about a 10 – 15 % justification quotient, I have no problem casting my lot with the 75 to 80 %.

    Again, in the Middle East, no one side is completely correct, but consider the difference between Homicide bombing (the real name for suicide bombing) in a surprise attack that targets ONLY civilians as contrasted with attacks targeted to stop the rocket attacks. Are the Israelis required to pass a threshhold of civilian deaths before they can RETALIATE? When the Israelis retaliate, they warn the civilians BEFORE the attacks.

    Unfortunately, as long as Hamas chooses to use schools and hospitals as attempted safe havens, the number if civilian deaths will continue to rise.

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