i am not a particularly religious person- and i am certainly not jewish. my family has been protestant from day one and the only reason i am at all familiar with anything in the jewish religion- is because i had a friend who converted to orthodox judaism. so- my perspective is one of skepticism and a decidedly non religious point of view. i have a tendency to boil things down to their simplest terms- in my world- so that i can lay them bare and try to understand.
so- here is the middle east in my nutshell. i know ahead of time that folks will not agree with me- and i know ahead of time that i will piss some folks off. i may be wrong in my assumptions but this is where i am at right now.
the western folks- namely britain- should not have offered up palestine to the jewish folks without giving the arab folks some notice. it wasn't theirs to give- except under western law. since they did- the arab folks could have cut the refugees some slack- but didn't- hence starting a war. since the 1948 united nations resolution, neither side has done what it was supposed to. in fact, with just a suspicion of threats, israel began pre-emptive strikes in 1967- which led to un resolution 242-which to this day israel has not complied with. the arab folks, distrustful of westerners and western backed jewish folks, continued to refuse to acknowledge israel's right to exist- and so the band played on.
well, the deal of the thing is- and where i am having a hard time coming to grips with the whole thing- the israeli government- right wing, of course- is treating the palestinian folks- muslim and christian fyi- abominably. the palestinian government agreed at least 3 times on 3 different occasions to abide by agreements that the western world came up with. israel has declined. they continue to treat the palestinians as they were treated in the ghettos of europe in world war 2. now, tell me if i am wrong here- but for highly religious people- isn't this wrong? or do they have the same mandate as bush and cheney? i understand the need for the arab world to acknowledge the existence of israel- and again, they have done so in several public statements. hamas and hezbollah are not recongnized by the western governements but hamas has indicated willingness to work with the israeli government and to acknowledge israel- but israel has declined.
what i have seen is israel continuing to ignore the united nations resolution 242; the camp david accords- which begin signed; and the geneva convention number 4. no war crimes charges have been filed against the israeli government either for cutting off food, water, housing, medical care, and financial aid for the palestinians. they are also denied legal aid. does the punishment fit the crime? do hezbollah's missles from lebanon and the suicide bombers justify starving and isolating people who are mostly under the age of 16? you tell me. my other thought is- why is it such a taboo topic to talk about? why are people not allowed to be as critical of israel as they are of the arabs? both sides have been negligent in the peace process but recently, it has been pretty one sided. israel is the alleged democracy in the middle east- but what kind of a democracy imprisons millions of its inhabitants and considers them aliens? oh- right- the american kind.