It’s not about land, yet. It’s still about hate. Hate is color-coded and its color wheel spins from white to black to red. White hate is invisible. Black hate is tangible. Red leaves a mark. Jews and Israelis, terms which comingle lately, offer a convenient canvas for hues of hate. The only combined ethnicity and religion, Jews stand out. With Israel, Jews feel more protected, but they still apparently present a broad target. Abbas has to step up to the plate, one hand wrapped around a pen and the other spinning a color wheel.
White is hate that, like white noise, plays in the background. My son in Poland on a trip was stunned by youths who in turn were stunned by someone’s kipa: Jews! We didn’t manage to kill you! They all walked away. My daughter was on a teen tour in London with Jordanians; some were lovely, others advocated openly the death of Israel and Jews, conveniently comingled. At our dinner table at a wedding in a French speaking country in Europe, Jewish slights flowed out of throats as smoothly as the fine champagne slid down because ‘no one knew.’ White hate burns out fast, a magnesium flash and it’s gone. Even if a painful memory sears in, you live on. Perhaps Jews in kipas all around the world regularly experience hit and run hate, as perhaps so do people of African descent outside Africa. It explains ghettos; better to be crowded in with neighbors who don’t hate you on principle.
Black hate is stubborn and much darker. It does not permit ghettos. Black hate is ideological, demanding fealty. Be one of us, or die. No dilution. No allowance of another way. Faithful Muslims never visit Christian churches or Jewish synagogues during prayer because Imams consider it haram to risk exposing Muslims to new ideologies. They might like it. And that would validate Israel, where Muslims and Christians and Jews worship freely, limited only by their own prejudices.
Abbas wants to have a conversation with the United Nations and one with Israel, but we need to know, where does Abbas stand – with Hamas or alongside to Israel? Says Hamas’ Charter, article 28: Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. Abbas can’t be on board with the black ideology of hate and still negotiate.
Israel stands because it fights. Israel knows it is not fighting about land, ie where to draw the line, 1,000 acres more or less. Israel is fighting to have any land. While there are peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, Hamas’ charter doesn’t leave room for Israel next door. This summer Hamas decided Israel has lived next door long enough, and took to arms and tunnels to allow their hate to run red. They killed citizens as collaborators and as shields, a red worthy of Hitler in Nazi Germany, or Isis in Syria and Iraq. Radical Islam is spread out among Isis, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Al Quaida and Fatah, and they will have to duke out whose Allah reigns supreme. In this radical mix, where does Abbas stand?
After a Civil War and Civil Rights legislation, the US still has white hate, but no segregation laws or terror gangs. We don’t tend to see red. Obama cringes at sending troops against Isis. He wants a wide base of cooperation, a coalition of affected countries maybe even Muslim ones. This is not purely an American fight. The United States does not hate Isis based on ideology. It objects to the killing of civilians, including an American journalist.
Assuming Isis is stopped, how does Israel survive in this same neighborhood? It builds ghetto walls and keeps a military. Not to fight for land, to wait out hate. Not white hate, but ideological, institutionalized hate. Israel will continue as now, defending and fighting until there is no more red in the ledgers of its neighbors.
Red is better with an ‘a’ – black, white and read, a proverbial newspaper, which entertains views of independent women and gays, and religions such as Christianity and Judaism. Like the rest of the developed world, this neighborhood can read. The CIA World Factbook puts literacy levels at 90% plus for men and women in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Literacy in Iran and Iraq is 89% for men and 81% and 74% for women, respectively. In Egypt 82% of men and 66% of women read and write, and the country enjoys peace with Israel. We need a library of Alexandria mentality to spread again.
Can a book bucket challenge promote ideas that dilute radical hate? This wealthy region doesn’t need money, it needs tolerance. Tolerance not land is the real key to peace with its tiny Jewish democratic neighbor. Abbas holds such a key and he is toggling between marrying Hamas and marrying peace. He needs to lock out dark hate, and let in only white. It’s a real world, not perfect. Abbas has a chance to be one of this decade’s significant leaders.