Two times over the past two days, I’ve cried while reading the news.
Yesterday I cried when I read that the oil leak in the gulf could wipe out all life in the affected area.
Today I cried when I watched a video that a friend posted on facebook about an Israeli-American boy who carried the Israeli flag in defiance of an anti-Israel rally.
What is sad about the first is obvious. Because of our self-created need to use oil, we are now destroying an entire ecosystem. It’s so embarrassing and shameful. This isn’t the first leak, and it’s not going to be the last, so why haven’t we cared enough about our world to develop other energy sources? I never want to pump gas into my car again. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. I need my car just like it needs gas. So, in order to not be too egregiously hypocritical, I’m thinking about volunteering in Louisiana some weekends to assist in coastal clean-up, or whatever needs to be done over there.
What is sad about the second is not as obvious. I’m pretty torn about Israel’s actions this weekend, but for the most part I believe they were justified.* However, what made me sad about the video had nothing to do with who was right and who was wrong. I was sad because it’s been 60 years and the different ethnic groups still haven’t managed to find peace. How utterly depressing. You’d think that it could be done in that amount of time, but, I guess, when have ethnic tensions ever been a quick-solve?
On both sides of the conflict there’s ignorance as well as a reluctance to be educated. If you watch that video to the end, you’ll see that two of the pro-Palestinians are under the impression that the current State of Israel came about as a response to the Holocaust, that the land was randomly chosen, and that it had previously belonged solely to the Palestinians. It follows, therefore, that the Jewish people have no right to live and govern themselves in Palestine. What an ignorant and impractical position to take! And that’s exactly the point. There are still Israelis who don’t want a 2-state solution, who don’t recognize the Palestinians’ right to govern themselves. And when that’s your opinion, you’re fighting against reality. The reality is, regardless of religious or historical claims to the land, 2 groups of people live there now and that is their home. Swallow your pride and find a way for those two groups to get most of what they want.
*Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, belongs to the school of thought that Israel does not have a right to exist. That is why I believe Israel’s naval blockade to prevent weapons trafficking into Gaza is reasonable and justified. The group of humanitarians–some of whom have terrorist ties–knew that they would be confronted by the Navy, and were advised to land in the Israeli port of Ashdod days in advance. Their actions suggest that they intentionally provoked the Israeli raid for the purpose of creating an international media frenzy. For those of you who don’t know much about the recent events, here is an article that includes some background information on Israel and Gaza. The article does come from an Israeli perspective, and I am sure more information could be given that sympathizes with the Palestinians. That being said, the information itself is well-referenced.