Wednesday, January 14, 2009

sometimes I really hate the news

I read about what's happening in Gaza right now, and I just want to cry. I want to cry because of the frustrating complexity of the situation, that as much as I want to rage against Israel for this excessive (and yes it is excessive) force, I understand that from their point of view there's a reason for the offensive, that the current Israeli government and probably many Israelis believe that Hamas will not stop until Israel is destroyed. I want to cry because Hamas wouldn't even be in power in the first place if a two state solution had been reached years before when it was promised with the Oslo Accords. I want to cry for the Israeli people who have been affected by the rocket fire and Palestinian terrorism(I have cousins in Haifa who talk casually of bomb shelters just being a part of day to day life). I want to cry for the Palestinian people who are living in utter despair, who have been living in despair ever since Gaza was established. It's a prison, not a homeland, a tiny, unlivable strip of land that should never have been permanent. And for some it is all they have ever known. Can you imagine being raised in a place like that? Can you imagine being told by your parents that you are a part of no nation, that your entire livelihood, your work and your water and your electricity our at the mercy of another country? I've said before that nothing excuses or justifies terrorism, but my God, you can't deny that Palestinian anger isn't justified. Nothing plants seeds of hatred more than growing up without recognition, without validation.

Before I end this extremely depressing blog I am going to make a suggestion. For my Western Civ class I read my first graphic novel, "Palestine" by Joe Sacco. It's nonfiction and it's about Palestine, not just the terrorists or victims you see on the news, but Palestine as a real, vibrant place, Palestine as a people starving for a nation of their own. It helped me tremendously to understand this situation. It's beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, and maybe it doesn't seem like much, but I have to believe that understanding is the first step to peace. I have to do something other than cry. I have to believe that with understanding of both sides and on both sides things will change. It's an illogical, unsubstantiated kind of hope, but it's all I got right now.

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