People might wonder what those two things have in common: an almost four-year-old child and the ongoing Middle East peace negotiations in Israel.
Well, surprisingly, they have a whole lot. Both are under some assumption that their promises are believable, their actions are without consequences and repetition of poor behavior will be rewarded.
I have grown weary of headlines like “Suicide bomber blasts market in Gaza Strip, five killed, 20 more injured,” and “Israeli forces barrel through occupied territory blasting homes and refugee camps.”
In fact, I am fucking sick of it. Not because it isn’t newsworthy or tragic, but because of its exercise in futility. At what point will either side say “Man, what a damn waste of time this has turned out to be? I wonder what would happen if we actually DID what we SAID we’d do?”
Take Lily for example. I might say to Lily, “Sweetheart, if you throw your toys they might break, or I might take them away.” Lily says, “Okay Mommy, I promise I will NEVER do that again.”
Approximately five minutes later, toy thrown, toy broken, mom mad, toy taken away and ten more minutes of lectures. Lather, rinse, repeat until you die.
Israel says, “Okay Palestinians we are going to pull out of occupied territories and lift restrictions, but you have to promise not to blow us up and act like dicks. Okay?”
Palestinians say, “Okay Israel, we promise.”
Five minutes later more eviscerated remains mixed and mingled on the streets. Again and again and again, and so on and so forth.
I heard a rather insightful commentary about this asswipish display on the radio today, “In summary, both sides spend more time pointing out the failures of the other party than looking internally and focusing on what THEY can do to further the peace process.”
Well damn, no shit, is that right? But then I thought about it. We all do that. I spend twenty minutes complaining about what Lily has done, might do, is contemplating doing and other wastes of energy, rather than focusing on what I CAN DO. Which is to improve the situation from my perspective, like perhaps just ignoring this behavior and watching her get bored with the lack of confrontation and then eventually coming to me and asking what GOOD thing she can do to get my attention, toy, snack, piece of land, joy, love, liberty, whatever.
While certainly we can’t expect the Israeli’s to IGNORE the Palestinians brutish and terrorists acts anymore than we as individuals can ignore specifics actions against us, WHAT we can do is set an example of what is acceptable behavior and sticking with it NO MATTER WHAT.
If the Israelis want peace, and I believe above all people they do, then they must not lower themselves to the contemptible standards of those who oppose them, they must remain neutral and indifferent – exercising their natural tendencies towards peace and keep extending the olive branch – while keeping their anger and retaliation intact. This isn’t Iraq and the Palestinians are nothing more than immature and petulant children who need to be given a firm but gentle hand into the world of civilized behavior.
At least is makes sense to me anyway.