Thursday, August 30, 2007

openDemocracy Debate on Israel

I am embroiled again in

debate - this time on Israel. Rissasrach is an Israeli.

Dear Rizzasrach

I am sorry to hear of the murder of your grandfather and granduncle, and the loss of your lands. But what do your ancestors want for you, their descendants, as they look on at this world we are creating?

Do they really desire that you all live in fear of the next suicide bomb, the next rocket, do they rejoice when they greet another young great-grandson, torn from his family, his life work not even started, taken away half way through his life?

Or do they wish that their family could live in peace, each under his own vine and his own fig tree, working in cooperation with their neighbours, honouring and conserving every drop of water, nursing the great coastal forests back into existence, fertilising the land in a natural cycle, drawing its power from the god-given sun?

To attain the second case, you only have to become conscious that yours is not the only family to have suffered, and also that Israel is not the only nation to have suffered. Yes, Israel has suffered enormously, more than any one except perhaps a Romany or a Communist or a Gay person who lived and died in Nazi Germany can say. But there are many on this list who would say that Israel has paid that suffering back in some measure to the Palestinians over the years, not least in 2006.

When can we all say that the collective suffering is enough? Do we all have to go through a Third World War, which will almost certainly be a nuclear holocaust, before we can turn our backs on violence and turn our hand to reconstruction?

I hope not. I hope that we can all see that Israel and Palestine have now seen enough violence, conflict and suffering. It is time to attend to reconstruction.



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