Palestinians, for a change, are killing Palestinians. In Gaza, a piece of land half the size of Washington D.C, utter chaos broke out, then Hamas (essentially, "democratically" elected terrorists) took control, then Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah dissolved one government and set up another. Then the sun set.
I mean, it happened that quickly. And now there's talk of 3 independent states in an area the size of New Jersey (I know, I'm getting carried away with the comparative size thing, but the point is these people are and have been fighting over a very tiny piece of the world) 3 states? Palestinians can't keep the lights on and the children fed in one state, now they want two because they can't get along with each other?
Thankfully, the rest of the world refuses to recognize a Hamas-only government, and have gone as far as to promise money and weapons to Fatah (careful there) so they can fight Hamas. Then, I guess, cause they hadn't done it in a while, Hamas launches a couple of Qassams into Israel, Israel does the whole retaliatory thing and at the same time they allow Gazans who need medical attention to get out of Gaza. And here we are, for now.
I'll be honest, the more I try to make sense of what's going on in Gaza and the West Bank and try to figure out what's good and what's bad for Israel, the more hopelessly confused I get.
But this I know: In the middle of everything, 3500 people marched in a gay pride parade in Jerusalem.
Long Live Israel.
As one columnist put it, "Israel may have more faults per capita than any nation in the world" but he was proud of Israel for having the parade in Jerusalem, even if there was some controversy attached to it. For me, I'm proud of it especially because there was controversy attached to it.
Israel is extremely diverse, and the Jews of Israel are divided by differences in heritage (askenazi vs. sephardic), religion (religious vs. secular), politics, social standing (sabras vs. immigrants, and then what kind of immigrant...) On top of that, they're all Jews. What's the old saying? put 10 Jews in a room together and you'll get 15 different opinions? It's like that. How could a gay pride parade in the holiest city on earth NOT evoke some controversy?
While the 3500 people were marching in the parade, some 1500 ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated against the parade. 7,500 policemen (that's 1/3 of the country's police force) were sent to Jerusalem to ensure a peaceful demonstration on both sides. At least a dozen of the ultra orthodox were arrested for anything from planting fake explosives to setting garbage cans on fire. And 23 others were arrested the night before the parade.
Most Orthodox rabbis publicly forbade violence against homosexuals in spite of their religious opposition to homosexuality and a demonstration of homosexual openness in Jerusalem, of all places. Instead, they went on Israeli TV and spoke out against the parade, and debated those who supported it, in the way public discourse is supposed to take place in a democracy with free speech.
The parade happened, the protests happened. No one was killed. In spite of all their differences, Jews are learning to live with other Jews.
Meanwhile in Gaza, Palestinians, divided politically and by little else, are killing each other.