What will Israel do...
When there is no more Gaza left?
It’s hard to believe that the current conflict in Israel/Palestine has been going on since I was 12 years old. In other forms, it’s been going on for centuries before my birth. I am not referring to the Crusades, but to Trevor Noah’s comment that when the first two club wielding cavemen confronted each other, “One was an Israeli and the other a Palestinian.”
Trevor said it’s impossible to resolve because the line of causality is endless. The point he makes is that it is incumbent on the most powerful of the two groups to measure its responses fairly. Compare the number of deaths in Gaza to the number in Israel. Had the Israeli response not been so robust, 79 more Palestinian children would be alive today. Instead, Israel bombards securely from under its Iron Dome. Until violence is removed from the peace equation, anticipate another 74 years of the same. No wonder Iran is rushing headlong into atomic capability.
Given the unequal power equation, I might have said that it was strategically foolhardy for Hamas to fire any rockets into Israel from Gaza. But what if the Palestinians have decided that death is better than a zombie life under Israeli occupation. Are we prepared to watch if Israel decides to go the whole way?
My age and retirement income preclude my paying any taxes to the U.S. Its a small consolation that none of my money is supporting the recent surge of American weaponry into Israel. But who will hold me accountable for all those years I bought into the American narratives about the Arab-Israeli conflict?
I have visited Israel several times to connect to the roots of Christendom, including the Hebrew stories. I also visited Muslim holy places and Palestinian villages and enclaves. All I can tell you is that in the years before the globalization of gluttony, the best restaurants were Palestinian. Restaurants are the best cultural emissaries of a people.
Though locked away in a Staten Island boarding school, I remember WW2 very well. We had all sorts of patriotic jingles, the most popular of which declared “Mussolini is a meanie.’’ They brought a bus load of Italian war prisoners to visit and we regaled them with patriotic and fascistic Italian songs. We figured war didn’t preclude our being nice.
In my dotage, I realize that Guantanamo is the nicest we can get. When we invaded Afghanistan we wanted to get one man and depose the regime that nurtured him. Well we did that and still could not turn off the fiery spigot. That’s because no Congressmen had ever eaten in a Palestinian restaurant.
Congress still wields the power of the purse. How about a bold move - like redirecting money for Israeli offense and defense into direct aid to Palestinians. With that kind of message, hostilities would immediately cease. If that happened I’d do my darnedest to lose weight, exercise regularly, and live to 105. I want one more pass at the grilled lamb, falafel and fresh squeezed lemonade.