…the Bleacherman has entered the arena…
Several days ago, I read the commentary, “Calling out Israel’s Campaign against Palestinians is not anti-Semitism”. It appeared on the website, ‘Politicususa.com on July 22, 2014 and was authored by “Rmuse.”
In many ways I agree with the author’s overall view that the Palestinians have for decades now been a people lied to, victimized and sacrificed like pawns on a chess board. I also agree that happening to the civilian population of Gaza in this recent outbreak of violence is an absolute tragedy. Whatever an individual’s geopolitical views are, one cannot ignore the unfolding tragedy that is happening right in front of us as Hamas and Israel prove that even adults can’t play nice in the sand box.
The Bleacherman is an old hippie – the operative word here being old. He grew up believing in the words of poets and song writers who painted a picture of a world that can be a beautiful place to live in if we somehow found a way to nest the powers of peace and love in our souls.
Yet, unfortunately, the words of the Arthurian idealist ring so hollow today. There is no room for idealism and altruistic visions in the microcosm of geopolitics.
The Bleacherman’s objection to Rmuse’s commentary rests in who he blames for the situation in the Middle East. He finds Israel to be the sole and exclusive party at fault. Rmuse gerrymanders the facts so much in order to satisfy his indictment of Israel, that ‘truth’ has been banished into oblivion by his accusatory hyperbole.
For more decades than anyone of us want to remember, Arab and Jew have been fighting over a narrow patch of land to call home. Each side claims ownership and seeks to destroy the other. Generations of Arab and Jewish children are indoctrinated into hating the other side. Hate has become part of the genetic makeup of both Arab and Israeli. And when one is born to hate, born to distrust, born to cynicism and suspicion; violence becomes second nature.
Rmuse, in setting the groundwork for his commentary, opines that supporting Israel has become “the hallmark of American patriotism” and if someone who attacks Israel for its actions or inactions, one is condemning oneself to be seen as committing an attack on God, being anti-Semitic and assaulting the holy Bible and affronting the basic tenets of Christianity itself.
A little over dramatic and an exaggeration on steroids, I would say.
Rmuse continues his march towards self-proclaimed righteousness by bloating his hate-filled bravado by proclaiming that innocent Palestinians civilians were “herded onto a Native Amercing-like reservation under threat of annihilation or tricked into going there with a false promise of being granted a homeland.”
There is no doubt that, in 1948-1949, there were forced and often violent migrations of Arabs out of the land that Israel was about to claim under an armistice brokered by the United Nations. There were also similar forced and sometimes violation migrations of Jews from land ceded to Jordanian control and referred to as the West Bank. What is also true was the fact that Israel offered to accept up to 100,000 refugees back into Israel (out of a total of about 700,000) but the Arab nations, not wanting to even tacitly recognize Israel’s existence, refused the offer.
Instead, for the most part, Arab nations “housed” the Palestinians in horrid refugee camps; promising that soon, Israel would be wiped out and the Palestinians would be allowed back into their homes. This false promise, a promise made to the Palestinians by surrounding Arab nations, was the lie. It was perpetrated not by Israel but by Arab nations who to this day, except for Egypt and Jordan, want to pretend that Israel does not exist.
The Palestinian people have suffered because they have been treated as pawns; expendable pawns in a greater conflict. There are no innocent parties here. Israel, Arab nations and militant groups like Hamas share blame for the disaster that has fallen upon the Palestinians.
To solely blame Israel for their plight is a manipulation of history and does nothing to move the ball towards peace. Yes, the West Bank is under occupation. That is a fact. But what does Rmuse suggest? That Israel unilaterally simply pulls its troops back across the arbitrary lines drawn before the 1967 war? Would such a move really bring peace to the region? Or, without a comprehensive peace plan and mutual recognition of each other’s right to exist as a Palestinian and Jewish State, would such a move be the seminal act of a more horrific and horrible war?
Can you imagine the consequences if Hamas began firing rockets at Israel from downtown Hebron or East Jerusalem?
It is easy to blame one side or the other; especially when both sides bear equal guilt. The Palestinians want an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank but refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State. It takes two sides to end war and make peace.
More than a half century ago, Golda Meir said that peace could only come to the Middle East once Arab nations love their children more than they hate the Jews.
So let us all show that paramount in our lives is to love our children. Make peace.
…the Bleacherman has left the arena…