Friday, June 22, 2007

Story of the Week -- June 18-22

In the Middle of Everything

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.


brookLyn gaL said...

I disagree with your final sentence:

Meanwhile in Gaza, Palestinians, divided politically and by little else, are killing each other.

You neglect to consider that Palestinians differ from each other greatly, much like any other culture. What about the Palestinians who want peace? The ones who voted for the Fatah party? I believe that there are vast differences between a Palestinian who supports Fatah and one who supports the terrorist organization of Hamas. I don't believe that they should be categorized as similar groups. They come from the same roots but they are not the same people. They want different things and they believe in different things.

To me, this is much more than a political difference. It is a moral and ideological difference. It is a social difference. Your statement is like saying that I don't have differences from George Bush other than political ones, just because we are both American. I think you and I both know that to be untrue.

weasely27 said...

Brooklyn Gal, I think you are missing the point.

Spiegalion is not neglecting to consider that Palestinians differ from eachother. He is just not mentioning it, because that's already obvious.

There are vast differences between liberals and conservatives that live in this country. But we're still called Americans. Jews of Israel are divided by all the issues that were mentioned in the original post and then some, but they are still classified as Israeli Jews.

You and I are divided on this issue. Guess what? I'm not going to MURDER you.

You haven't gone out and assassinated the president because of your political, moral, and ideological differences.

The Palestinians are resolving their "vast differences" with chaos and violence. And they are asking to take land away from another country so they can have more ground to conduct this violence on. These killings are accepted and amplified because there is one thing that these two groups (yes Fatah believes it too) do agree upon: Martyrdom is the quickest way to heaven.

Original post is right on the money.

brookLyn gaL said...

I did agree with most of the post, I was just taking issue with the final statement.

I just don't think it's that black and white. I'm not saying that every single member of the Fatah party has good intentions. I'm just saying that not all of them feel the way that the terrorists feel, and it's wrong to generalize them as though they do.