December 3, 2003
Some of you may have heard about the recently released Geneva Accord, put together by Israelis and Palestinians, independent of the current governments. The document is largely symbolic, but was issued to show there are ways to stop the endless war between the two peoples, and to show that willing people can work together on this. A bit to my dismay, this accord has been rejected by both the Israeli and Palestinian governments, with a rare, but strong criticism of Colin Powell's support of the document by an Israeli official. You can read about it here in the NY Times.I've gotta support Powell's comment here when he says "Why should we not listen to others who have ideas..." It seems like neither side is in favor of any compromises in their current states in order to bring peace. It made me think of the lack of progress so far accomplised in this conflict, and wonder if there ever will be peace, or if this will be an endless war, leading to the end. What do you guys think?
Posted by charr at 8:27 AM
From a religious history perspective, isn't this war supposed to go on forever, ultimately leading to a battle on the fields of Armageddon? Prophesies aside, I still think there's no way to solve this situation, not when at least one side that I know actually has national holidays to celebrate their hatred of the other side. They hammer hatred into their children's heads from such a young age in everything they do, and as long as that continues, there's never going to be a way out. Yes, there are reasonable people among Israelis and Palestinians - I know several very reasonable folks over there - but the governments, the people in power, and it seems the very well-armed minority of angry people, are too loud and over-power the normal people. Which always seems to happen, doesn't it?
I reworded the end of my posting numerous times to not sound like a fatalist, but that's exactly what I was thinking of -- Armageddon. Supposedly, before that, all nations are going to hate Israel and go to war against it. Europe (and nearly all Islamic nations) is already not too friendly towards Israel. Will more nations be polarized with this war, or will this conflict be solved now only to have another if the future?
I don't believe this war will end. It goes back to biblical times. Despite this belief, I think the efforts towards peace should still be exercised.
Cameron - I hadn't heard about how the rest of the world is supposed to end up hating Israel. It's interesting, though. In my opinion, I like neither the Israeli government or the Palestinian. They're both too wrong for me to favor one over the other. I completely agree, Renee, despite the seemingly impossible nature of it, peace should still definitely be sought. I just wish more people would realize the full history of it all. It puts it into better context, I think.
This conflict is too deeply ingrained into the two cultures for them to just suddenly let it all go because of one agreement. I'd like to see peace, but I don't think it will happen. Frankly, both sides have lost too many people and there's just too much hatred for any lasting peace unless something drastic happens.The real problem? Neither side can compromise; if they do, thier people will think they caved in to the other side even if the agreement was fair to both. New leadership would then be put into place that would start the whole mess over again. This has happened many times on both sides.
I think I started following the events in Jerusalem back in high school and have changed my opinion a number of times. I finally came to the conclusion that the Israelis and Palestinians should be treated like friends who are on a path to self destruction. You neither condone or condemn their actions, never offer material or financial support for the destructive behavior, and in the end, hope they come out alive. How can we support either side?
Jan mentioned one of the big problems -- that it isn't just government vs. government, like the US vs France thing mostly was. A lot of the people feel very strongly about what they expect to get out of any deal, and they aren't willing to compromise. Both sides, especially the Palestinians, seemed determined also to get any revenge that hasn't been meted out yet for previous deaths. That alone puts the conflict into an endless downward spiral.