Thursday, 15 January 2009

What could you add?

For the entirity of my 25 years on this planet (and many more), the conflict in Palestine has rumbled on. It is pretty futile to imagine that I might have anything worth adding on the topic, given that I and innumerable others have throw in their tuppence over the years.

Yet those years adding up calls to you, doesn´t it? That´s more than 60 years without a homeland, and more than 60 years in refugee camps. Twice as long as I´ve lived (and too me it feels like forever, and I don´t live in exile, waiting for my right to return).

Traditionally, with every resumed offensive, the media´s memory resets to as limited a timescale as if necessary to absolve the Israeli government of responsibility. When they invaded Lebanon, we´re were supposed to imagine that neither Israel nor Lebanon had any history whatsoever that pre-dated the kidnapping of 3 Israeli soldiers. These days, we´re supposed to think that everything was peachy until one too many rockets wobbled their way over the border, instead of misfirings into some poor Palestinian farmer´s house.

Of course, throughout the ceasefire, as they have done throughout the last 60 years in fact, the Palestinians have been allowed to exist under sufferance, according to the whims of the Israeli state, their current whim being an open-air prison camps for 1.5m Gazans, as collective punishment for their decisions at the ballot box.

The thing is the Israeli ruling class never changes it up. They´ve a persuasive capacity that is all stick, the more we beat them over the head the better they will behave. There´s no carrot for persuading anyone that peaceful co-existence might be nice. The ceasefire saw the number of rockets launched at Israel decline. Even if you still think a lower level of attacks is completely unacceptable, surely, with a genuine desire for peace, you might take this as a good starting point for something better?

No. Best tear it up and create another generation of hate. So your citizens can live a little longer in fear and loathing, so they never question that perhaps their problems don´t only eminent from the enmity of their neighbours.

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