San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, August 22, 2003

It's Not Israel's Fault, but ...

I wonder how truly committed Israel is to the peace process. Realizing that Israelis were splattered all over downtown Jerusalem by a vicious, cowardly maniac, and that the responsibility for that attack was fought over by dueling press releases from terrorist groups, it's easy to see where the righteous anger, the burning need, desire an visceral urge for revenge come from. But what is at the end of that road?

If everyone knows that a horrific suicide bombing will cause Israel to drop whatever progress has been made with sane Palestinian representatives, doesn't that empower the lunatics? Of both sides? And doesn't that mean more bombings whenever it looks like progress is being made? This plays directly into the hands of the most violent, intractable knuckledraggers on both sides.

Look at areas in the world where real progress has been made. Northern Ireland for example. Sure, there've been bombings since Good Friday. Sure there've been recriminations, backsliding, grandstanding and gamesmanship. But after 35 years of open conflict (and hundreds of years of oppression) mixed in with particularly virulent offshoots of religion, what did you expect?

The essence of peacemaking is maturity. A mature person sacrifices and suffers in the present to build a better future. A mature society taxes itself both in money and lost present opportunities to build a more stable, equitable and successful society in the future. Sure you have to respond to criminality. But you also have to reward whatever civilization is slowly taking root.


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