Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flashpoint Jerusalem

Back when I was growing up and knew everything, I knew the solutions to all the problems in the Holy Land. I can't remember what I thought those solutions were anymore, but I do know that they were all wrong. What has happened there in my lifetime alone is tragedy beyond rational explanation, with no signs of resolution.

There was only ever one idea about the place that I ever got right: If all the Israelis got tired of it, packed up and left, in a week all the Arab nations would be facing civil wars. If all the Palestinians got tired of it, packed up and left, in a week Israel would be engaged in a civil war. The majority of folks on either side, who just want to go down the street and get a cup of coffee and play with their kids outside in the Mediterranean summer, would continue to suffer.

In the West, we can never stop our clumsy attempts to orchestrate peace. But we won't ever get there unless they get tired of fighting.

[T]o be a secular Israeli in 2009 is a demoralizing and demoralized affair. We are tired: tired of the Palestinians, tired of the bombs, tired of U.N. and EU condemnations, tired of having so much of our daily wages taxed to buy guns and missiles, tired of the army reserves, tired of being hated, tired of going to bed and waking up to reports of kids -- Jewish kids, Palestinian kids -- watching their parents die or dying in their parents’ arms. We are tired of our lives and tired of ourselves.


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