Originally posted by sh76
I don't really have the time to write this, but I need to, so I'm making the time.
I was in Phoenix airport yesterday. I had a little time before my flight and so I found an empty gate and sat near a wall outlet so I could charge my iPhone. So, I'm sitting there minding my own business and I notice off in a corner are two young plainly Arab men (though dress ...[text shortened]... I can't help it.
Is there anything we can do as a species to stop trying to kill each other?
Sh76, it's good that you have had an opportunity, however brief, to meet
some Palestinians. I hope that you now will reconsider your earlier comment
that the Palestinians have 'no self-respect' and 'no sense of purpose'.
"I was kind of hoping to be sitting near them so we could talk..."
Do you think that you would have enjoyed the same opportunity to talk with
these Palestinians if you had met them in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza?
My point is that when you were meeting these Palestinians in the USA, you
were meeting on equal terms. If you had met them in the Israeli-occupied
West Bank, the Palestinians would have perceived you as a Jew holding a
gun at them or, at least, as backed by Israeli soldiers with guns. You would
not have been meeting on equal terms. During the apartheid era, some
white South African businessmen visited the USA and made deals with black
American businessmen on equal terms. When they returned home, however,
they resumed their lives in a society of extreme differences in power and rights.
Jews and Palestinians can be friends in a place where they have equal rights.
But Israel's apartheid-like system has driven them to act as enemies toward each other.
"We can point fingers all we like."
The historical context cannot be ignored. The Palestinians will not and should
not accept any proposition (which is extremely loaded in favour of Israel) of
"Let's just forget all that's happened in the past, and start becoming friends
from now on (in 2014)."
"Is there anything we can do as a species to stop trying to kill each other."
You could begin by attempting to understand why you think some people
want to kill people in the group with which you strongly identify. Please
read what Palestinians have written of their senses of identity and history
and attempt to understand their grievances.
Here's a book by an Israeli Jew who has made that journey before you:
_The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine_ by Miko Peled
(Miko Peled now lives in the USA, and some of his best friends are Palestinians.)
Would you have allowed Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said (who were among
the best of friends) to make peace on behalf of the Israelis and Palestinians?