Taboo's Junk Trunk: A Storage Dump for Taboo's Random Literary and Cultural Blatherments
I do not condone attacks on civilians. I do not support any work of terror.

I grew up in a Jewish family in the last throws of assimilation. I have experienced mild suggestions of anti-semetism all my life, but never truly suffered for my religion.

There. That's my background. With that said, no one--especially other pro-Israel sympathizers like myself--should ever forget that Israel was created and defended by Jewish terrorists--the Irgun, for example (shorthand for Irgun Tsvai Leumi, or National Military Organization, which operated between 1931 and 1948)--who not only targeted British "peacekeepers" but also Palestinian civilians. Israel's first few prime-ministers were all terrorists, or had terrorist relations.

This war is between two peoples who historically have had minimal aggression toward the other (or the aggression was the exception to the rule). The Israelis had more than ample reason to need a secure state after WWII, but the Palestinians among others (such as those from Jordan and Syria most notably) have had ample reason to fight back.

The situation now is such that the representative generations of each perspective in the area have grown up through killing and bloodshed. Everyone is a soldier. Everyone has relatives who have killed or have died at the hands of the enemy.

All of this suggests both why the current political climate exists, and why new generations of religious extremists have turned to violence.

The Jewish populaton of Israel is smaller than that population in the USA, but everyone who is Jewish and knows history is well aware of the fact that our security is a tenuous thing. Living in the USA is not a promise of religious freedom and survival, regardless of what our constitution says.

Islam continues to widen its influence, yet some of its fundamental icons and histories exist in places that were bartered away from them by foreign nations, to create a new nation of Israel--a new nation whose founders have killed plenty of sons and daughters, fathers, friends, mothers--civilians and combatants alike.

There is no easy answer, such as the death of all israeli children, or the sweeping of islam into the sea. There is no "either"; there is no "or". No one could have suggested to the Irgun that killings weren't worth a new Jewish state--not after all of Europe's Jewry was slaughtered--and no one can convince militant Muslim organizations that killing bus loads of usurpers isn't worth the return of their ancient lands and holy sites.

We are all human beings, and perhaps we are capable of seeing other perspectives than our own. In the short term, this means nothing. This isn't a war taking place thousands of miles away from homes like Vietnam was for the USA . . . or, in fact, like every war the USA entered in the last how ever many years. These people, both sides, are fighting over the grave sites of their families.

Neither side of an "either-or" will bring peace. Do not expect it. If USA were to bring the cumulative might of their military forces to pick out and destroy every unique terrorist individual, then more will gather in the squalor we create in the wake of the destruction we cause, the orphans we create. And they will have less to lose than their forebearers. They will have more grudge, more resentment, and restitution to collect.

The best thing Israel can do, is to understand. If palestinians are no longer Palestinians, but instead Israelis, then bus bombings will be the problem of everyone--perhaps they will fade, eventually. There will be anger not only between Palestinians and Israelis, but between Palestinian civilians and Palestinian military extremists. There will be less fertile ground for sowing terror.

If there is a solution, it is a long one. It involves re-educating children, and preventing the orphaning of children. It involves removing titles such as "us" and "them". It means recognizing terrorists for who they really are: discouraged, fanatically educated children. They weren't born terrorists, any more than the members of the Irgun were terrorists.

It is easy to sit back in the distant USA and say that governments cannot deal with terrorists; however, in Israel, no one is clean. Terrorists are dealing with other terrorists. Religioius extremists are the exception rather than the rule--yet on each side they exert disproportionate power for their numbers.

"An eye for an eye" is a system that doesn't just vanish because a problem doesn't go away, and this problem will not just go away. There is no military solution to terror. USA's own war against terror will not make terror vanish, and I for one believe that USA is creating a bed for future terror the likes that this world has never seen before.

Part of a fundamental Jewish prayer called the Shema reads as follows:

"Teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them
when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.
And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

The prayer refers to the Holy Word, the Commandments. But a little thought reveals that this is how we teach our children everything. The truths by which you live your life you build into the world around you, and thus you teach them to your children.

Holy Wars are passed on in this way, as are the fundamental concepts of forgiveness, and love.

Copyright ©2004, ©2005, ©2006 Joshua Suchman. All rights reserved.
Taboo's Ezine Navigator: Article Index
Taboo Tenente: A Thinker's MFA Journey - Home
The Phallic Suggestion
Stone Soup Blog Forum

on Oct 16, 2005
Interesting points.... especially to one living in Jerusalem.
on Oct 16, 2005
Noble.  But can you talk them into it?  Arrggghhhh!  There's the rub.
on Oct 16, 2005
of course you can't talk them into it, at least not over fresh fruit juices and chick peas and then have the whole thing settled by sundown.

the point is there's no bandaid that's going to cure the problem. right choices have to be made by those who have the power and security to make choices at all.

on Oct 16, 2005
living in jerusalem? in the old city? it's been just under eight years since i was there (on the 50th anniversary) and i'll never forget any of the millions of little things i saw and learned.

in many ways i'm jealous, manopeace. i'm curious about your feelings on such issues as reprisals, west bank settlement, and confidence in the parliament system . . . .

on Oct 16, 2005
the point is there's no bandaid that's going to cure the problem. right choices have to be made by those who have the power and security to make choices at all.