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It is very clear that there are people on this site who have very impassioned opinions about the Israelis and the Palestinians.  There always are, every time any violence breaks out.

I am Jewish, progressive, and I was the kid who told my relatives (with no subtlety) that the Israelis were treating the Palestinians as badly as the Germans treated Jews during World War II.  But - of course - being Jewish, I completely understand the cultural mentality left in the wake of the Holocaust.

That was 35 years ago.  Nothing has changed.  And why?  Because both sides are to blame.

Here's what I know:

1.  Hamas sucks.  Regardless of their reasons, their's is a record of terrorist attacks, missiles fired against civilian Israelis, and a refusal to publically accept the right of the country they are fighting to exist.  

They do hide missiles where innocent people live.  And it must be nice to be the head of Hamas, living in Qatar, away from the danger and squalor.  

2.  Frankly, the other Arab nations have a mixed record on the Palestinians.  If you recall, long before the territories came into existence.  The Palestinians were refugees in camps.  Some still are in Jordan and Syria.  Nobody cared about them at all.  It only occurred to some Arab leaders to bother when it was convenient in terms of their internal politics or diplomacy for the broader Middle East.

60+ years of this and life for the Palestinian people is no better than it was.  And that is not Israel's burden alone:  Hamas, the other Arab states, all have a piece of the blame.

3.  Israel's response to the aggression that the Palestinians foist against them is shameful.  The blockade is noxious, and their military response is responsible for the deaths of thousands, when they lose dozens.  While it would certainly be advantageous to create a lasting peace for loads of practical reasons (beyond the lives it saves), the domestic politics that requires multi-party alliances, means that a move toward peace would topple the Likud government.  How is that more important than saving lives?  As much as Hamas needs to accept the right of Israel to exist, Israel has to accept the right of the Palestinians to live - and live with the same rights to trade, improve their infrastructure and society, as Israel has.  But they won't.  The result - just like Hamas' extreme refusal to admit Israel has a right to exist is Israel's extreme ideology that any attack is an excuse  for any military response, no matter how strong.

4.  So all the players here are awful.  And the innocents on both sides are caught in the middle - more Palestinians than Israelis, but that's just because Israel has a great missile defense system.  There was a time when the casualties from rockets and terrorist bombings in Israel were far worse.

5.  Regardless of how they got there (and that is certainly complicated but important), Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank live in a ghetto.  They are hemmed in, densely packed and therefore overly doomed in a battle.  Hamas can say they are hiding their missiles without purposely using their people as human shields, but I suspect that topographically there is no choice in the matter.  Too many people.  And Israel can say they call and text people to get out of their homes before they blow them up, but honestly, where can they go, while staying in Gaza, that doesn't continue to pose a risk?

5.  History tells us that warring parties don't stop fighting until they are ready to.  Most recent case in point:  Northern Ireland.  They negotiated peace because all sides were sick and tired of fighting.  Clearly the military on both sides in this conflict isn't tired of it yet.  So really, why compromise?

So, before anybody here rights another diary about how awful one side is and how righteous the other one is, how about this:  How about we all (the left, the side that hates war and killing) try reaching out to both sides in this conflict and tell them that the world has had enough.  And for the sake of the dead and injured - regardless of which side of the border they started on - maybe all should beat their swords into plowshares (or whatever metaphor is apt for you), and make the future mean something worthwhile on their behalf.

11:53 AM PT: This diary has clearly touched some people who are very concerned with the overwhelming use of force by the Israeli's in this latest military action.  I agree.  The comments also seem to indicate that I said these two sides were "equally" to blame.  I'm not assigning a value to each side's participation in the conflict.  Clearly, both sides feel completely justified in their own egregious behavior.  I'm saying there is blame on both sides, and beyond - and it won't end until both sides stop.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Except one side is powerless, whose (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozoozol, 420 forever, Diane Gee

    charter that denies Israel's right to exist is as potent as the paper it is written on.

    Whereas the other side is totally capable AND willing to completely annihilate the other.

    Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

    by pajoly on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:02:48 AM PDT

  •  some day (7+ / 0-)

    the israelis and palestinians will realize that they have been used as pawns by powerful entities that care not a whit about the well-being of the people on either side. a lot of people around the world are emotionally invested in demonizing one or the other side without caring to make the effort to understand how people come to behave so viciously. a lot of people around the world are financially and politically invested in the conflict continuing as conflict, rather than ever being resolved to the benefit of the israelis and palestinians.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:04:44 AM PDT

    •  Bingo (4+ / 0-)

      and that is the sad reality of the thing.  We can talk about the historical blunders all we want, and they are legion.  But the MIC wants nothing more than war to keep their pockets full, and they're getting their way.

      I cannot help though but make the comparison to the US and our treatment of Native Americans here when we took over this place.  The lies they were told, repeatedly, to get their land and take away their lives.  Many of them chose death instead of living in captivity where they were 'told to live'.  And can we blame them?  Hardly.  

      Read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", Dee Brown.  I had not read that before now and it paints an ugly picture of the US, and that ugly picture fits lots of current events in today's world.

      •  i read that book (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon, AoT, Munchkn

        when i was in junior high- as influential on my political thinking as anything i've ever read. but it's not just the mic, it's also the oil industry, and various regional powers that need the i/p conflict as a distraction for their own people.

        depending on biases, it's easy to demonize one or other side of the i/p conflict, it's much more difficult to try to understand.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:42:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As Steve Earle Put It In His Song "Rich Man's War" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Free Jazz at High Noon, mayim

      Ali was the second son of a second son
      Grew up in Gaza throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come
      Ain’t nothin’ else to do around here just a game children play
      Somethin’ ‘bout livin’ in fear all your life makes you hard that way

      He answered when he got the call
      Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah
      A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door
      Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:19:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or as Tom Russell says (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon, AoT, mayim

        We got fundamentalist Muslims
        We got fundamentalist Jews
        We got fundamentalist Christians
        Who'll blow the whole thing up for you
        But as I travel around this big old world
        The one thing I most fear
        Is a white guy in a golf shirt
        With a cellphone in his ear

        He's talking about the border, but some of the same patterns and issues apply

        Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

        by Land of Enchantment on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:26:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is no equal blame (0+ / 0-)

    when one side has always and will always be an occupied people imprisoned by another group.

    Free Gaza! Free Donbass!

    by Diane Gee on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:10:34 AM PDT

  •  yeah (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pajoly, Diane Gee, AoT

    just like the 99% and the 1% are equally to blame.

  •  Here's an interesting video report from Indian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    NDTV journalists in their hotel room on witnessing the setup and firing of a Gazaian missile.

    It's interesting the missile was fired at 07:30 local today (just when the cease-fire was supposed to start) because any retaliation (not evident) would have occurred after the start time, 'violating' the cease-fire.

    In purely military terms, it's hard to see how attacking this site (which, once wired for use, remains available) could avoid collateral damage, given its location.  

  •  Remember, diarist: (6+ / 0-)

    You blame all sides.

    This means partisans from one side or the other will insert the word "equally" into your statement of condemnation and tell you how wrongly wrong you are for making both sides the same in their badness.

    Fact is leaders from both sides have independently met the necessary and sufficient criteria to be brought before the Hague for crimes against humanity. Which side bears more responsibility is a question that really doesn't lead us to any solutions.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:35:05 AM PDT

  •  How did this start? (0+ / 0-)

    Jews and Muslims have had largely peaceful relationship since the foundation of Islam (at least in comparison to the historical relationship between Christians and Jews), but since the late 19th century Jews and Muslims have become more hostile to each other.

    What exactly happened?

  •  OK, but then what? (0+ / 0-)

    It's all very well to say "both sides are at fault and should stop."   But if you were speaking to your US senator and representative, what would you tell them about US appropriations?  Where do you stand on the growing movement among consumers to pressure their investment companies to divest from Israeli businesses?  

    I'm not saying these are easy decisions.  It's not an easy subject.  But although we can't directly affect the combatants, but we share responsibility for driving our OWN nation's policies.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:54:45 PM PDT

  •  A friend of mine, Palestinian (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad, MissMudgeon, mayim, Munchkn

    ... has been involved for years with an annual peace gathering for Israeli & Palestinian girls in NM. She said it was especially challenging this year. And, too, she agrees more or less with you. "The settlers," she says, "and Hamas is just as bad. Like brick walls, no light at all."

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:22:00 PM PDT

  •  You say that all players are awful (0+ / 0-)

    but the only player you give any agency to in regards to the Palestinians is Hamas, why is that?

    Does the PA not exist? Does Fatah not exist?

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 03:51:41 PM PDT

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