04 January 2009

Peace and goodwill on earth (2)

I have written and deleted two posts around Gaza, on this morning after Isra'eli ground forces launched a ground invasion. The first was a rant. The second was reasoned. Neither seemed worth posting.

But it's true, as Dr C comments, that "to remain quiet is to be complicit". There are, of course, many ways not to be quiet, and a blog is not always the most effective application of noise. Refusing to be silent is a state of mind and being rather than a physically definable event. But...

At Unreal nature, Julie Heyward says "I don’t think that I’m qualified to say anything meaningful about what is going on there. I feel extreme sorrow — and outrage and dismay. Below are links to posts by other people that reflect my opinion on the matter, and say it better than I can..." It seems to me that she has said something extremely meaningful. As I'm sure I've said more than once before, we need more Julies. If enough people joined her in feeling and expressing "extreme sorrow and outrage and dismay", things might start to change.

From Thinking through my fingers, Jim Putnam notes that "people often become very alike to that which they are most afraid". I have good friends, of nearly four decades standing, on both sides of the conflict, and every one of them wants to see an end to this endless bloodletting, but I know that a few of those on the Isra'eli side will be pained to hear me agree with Jim, too. The state of Isra'el (a very different thing, as everywhere, from the people of Isra'el) is not, and should not be described as, Nazi; but it has spent so long locked into fear that it has some facets which too closely resemble Nazism.

I take heart from the fact that all three of these are US citizens, because only Isra'el can make a beginning to the end of this tragedy and only the US can make Isra'el decide to do so. As Jim also observes: "Among the actions the US needs to take is to immediately cease funding Israel's war machine. To me, that's first. Along with that, we must demand that Palestinians be provided support to improve their economic status, schools, food, and everything that goes along with a stable, self-governing entity."

Previous vaguely related noises: