Thursday, January 8, 2009

Israel? Problem solved!

I've been paying a bit of attention to what's going on in Israel, but every time I feel ready to come up with some sort of opinion on this issue, I start to feel like Hamlet when he sees his uncle praying - or in a word, incredibly thoughtful yet indecisive.

The thing is, I really don't know what to make of this whole situation. It's hard to pick a side either way in this whole thing. I'm hardly an expert, but I know that Israel is not completely innocent in this whole thing. Their track record of dealing with the Palestinians is not exactly spotless from what I understand. Also, what they're doing right now does indeed seem excessive to me. Sure, they were bombed first, but how many innocent people need to die in order to fix this situation? And more importantly, is their current course of action even going to fix what's going on here? It seems like the same-old, same-old to me, and all this is going to do is stir up sympathy for Hamas in the long run and will ultimately lead to even more suicide bombers.

But then when you look at Israel's situation, you've gotta wonder exactly what it is they're supposed to do one way or the other. After all, their enemies practically surround them, and these enemies won't even acknowledge Israel's right to exist. It seems like for most of these fundamentalist Muslims, there can never be any reconcilement. For them, there will always be conflict unless Israel is wiped off of the map. So where can you even go from there?

At work today, it was the topic at lunchtime, and some of my coworkers are far more informed about this issue than I am. One thing that was brought up though is that often the pro-Israel side creates a strawman argument where if you say anything critical of Israel, you somehow don't believe in its right to exist. Now, it's true that there are a lot of radical Muslims out there who say some pretty extreme things about Israel but then hide under the "I'm not anti-Semitic; I'm anti-Zionism" excuse. But wouldn't it be nice if we could see this whole situation for all of its complexity rather than just be defined as simply being pro or anti Israel. Shoot, this reminds me of the flak that Steven Spielberg got over his movie, Munich. To think that the man behind Shindler's List was accused of not being a friend to Israel!

And part of me can't get over the religious component to this whole thing. A major part of the problem is that both sides think that some invisible man told them that the land belongs to them. And what's worse, you have so many Christians in this country pretending to be such friends of the Jews, when all they really care about is that the Jews fulfill their role in their Ragnarok (excuse me, Armageddon) prophecy. I mean, does the fate of the entire world really spin around this one country? The entire notion of it is nothing short of absurd.

Basically, I think that I'll have to say the same thing that I said to a Jewish friend of mine back in high school. Believe it or not, but there was a pretty serious situation in Israel with the Palestinians even back then! (Insert your sense of irony here.) I told him that I wasn't on the "side" of either the Jews or the Palestinians. I'm on the side of the human race, and I just want all of this hating and fighting to be over.


Ingrid said...

Lance, I feel exactly the way you do about this situation. What bothers me most is what you mentioned, the religious component. Especially people who don't believe in the God of the Bible support Israels right to that land. That never made any sense to me. The people who created that place for Israel are the ones who are responsible for that mess, and they are the ones who need to solve the problem. I feel sorry for all the innocent people caught in this desaster.

Ingrid said...

Of course I meant disaster.

What also makes me so sad is that so many young people from both sides don't want this to happen, but are so caught in the middle and have no place to turn. As always, the politicians just talk and have no solution.