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Monday, March 10, 2008


It's hard to watch yet another room falling victim to the trap of discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict ad nauseam. As posted in MPIDC on Saturday, I have seen this topic literally eliminate what were otherwise diverse and enjoyable chatrooms, to my frequent dismay. And the desensitization that occurs with repetition of this jaded topic is not unlike experiencing Bill Murray's struggles in the movie Groundhog Day.

The principal antagonists in this never ending tirade are as predictable as pie. The same stories recur over and over again and not-so-subtle rhetoric smears the screen. Moses and Balfour are tossed about as if they were legitimate operatives in the present moment. But never is there any sign of negotiation or compromise. Instead, we become infected by the raw emotionalism of both sides of this absurd dispute. The compulsion to take sides usurps the limbic systems of the onlookers and the conflict is perpetuated, both on paltalk and in that real world.

The inescapable fact is that Israel happened. Its creation was comprehensible to the post WW2 global mindset in that there were large numbers of displaced Jews and massive collective guilt concerning their fate under Hitler and several other tyrants. Two generations later that comprehension is disregarded and the sickness of legacy-grudges is abusively passed to the children of both sides. Indeed, hate and victimhood are among the easiest emotions to access and have become the cherished refuges of the two opponents. Is it any wonder that either side is capable of inconceivable atrocities?

The solution is obvious: the establishment of two distinct states, the mutual rejection of militancy, and the creation of an actual and viable Palestinian economy. With 75% unemployment it is evident many Palestinians have little else to think about other than exacting revenge rather than generating any sense of the future and the collective will to improve their status. Similarly, Israel must re-examine its dranconian approach. Building provocative settlements and tearing down olive groves on disputed lands is just gasoline on a bonfire and reveals a micro-imperialistic desire to further humiliate the Palestinians. And clearly new and rational leadership is essential for both parties; that is, if a solution is actually desired. Unfortunately, it is increasingly apparent that sandbox-emotions and egocentric self-portrayals of martyrdom will prevail.

I gave up on this topic a long time ago. Talking sense to the obsessed is a waste of time I've discovered. But it bugs me no end that another decent chatroom may be wrecked at the hands of a small, irreconcilable, and repetitive group of combatants who seldom look beyond a microscopic strip of desert.

p.s. Having just loaded Paltalk before posting this (which i actually wrote yesterday) I notice the aforesaid room is no longer with us, at least for today. I won't claim to be Nostradamus, but the topic from hell may have played a part.


Jesus Claus said...

I personally hate this topic, mainly because I am in the center leaning toward the Israeli side. But with people like limeybuster, Bobby McGee, and zecoo, for example, this topic just takes over rooms for hours. I have even gone into the top 3 world politics rooms in SI, and this was the topic in all 3 AT THE SAME TIME!

Does anyone remember SoozeeQT's room? She banned discussion on Israel/Palestine, and that was a great room.


WFG said...

I lean toward no side in terms of which should have more control, I just want a peaceful resolution.

I do have a stronger emotional connection to Israel, being that distant cousins may live there, but that's not reason for me to argue Israelis should have more or less control, etc., than the Palestinians. Also, I'd probably not have supported Israel's creation, on the grounds that its creation was, so far as I know, religiously based, and I am a secularist.

Jesus Claus said...

Well, most of the people in Israel are secular, and I think the horror of WWII and the Holocaust played more of a part in the international will to do something about the Jewish refugee problem.