The bloodletting that triggers more
aka: Whatever happened to “Enough of blood and tears! Enough!” ?
Unfortunately, the past few weeks in the Muddled East have become so filled with death and destruction, that it’s hard to keep count of all of the gross injustices that have been piling up.
Fortunately, with great analytical data and insight, we are able to hone in on what is causing these disturbances in the peace that perpetually evades being actualized.
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First of all, it’s Summertime. And as history has repeatedly shown, violence spikes in the MidEast when the air temperature rises to anything above what is ideal for storing a good wine. And it just gets worse every year, at least as long as there is less and less drinking water available per person. Parched throats make for angry people and stupid behavior. It doesn’t help that much of the local music and languages sounds like someone trying to resist having their throat ripped out.
Secondly, there is still no App for Peace. And I don’t mean some stupid buzzword PR application created just to get noise. I mean an actual crowdsourced, crowdfunded and crowdadopted app whose purpose and function is to actively and virally promote peace in a way that email, google, facebook, twitter and pinterest caught on. “Digital pipe dreams”, they’ll say as they scoff at my foolish dream of a peacemaking app. Sure, it might be. And man-made realities usually start with a dream.
Ironically, the cruel, gruesome and savage killings of the three Israeli teens and the one Palestinian teen in the last week may have actually launched a strange, unexpected and useful moment of building bridges between the mourning families and their friends and supporters.
In what surprised many spectators, the American cousin of the murdered Palestinian boy, who was himself subject to brutal beatings by the Israeli police (as captured on video), arrested, and sent to a court appearance on a charge of participating in a violent rally, showed exemplary courage and behavior in a television news interview following his release on bail under the condition of 9 days of house arrest. In that interview, the teenager bravely declared that he wants to make peace with Israel and that he intends to pursue legal options to simply make the Israelis realize that beating innocent bystanders is simply not OK. Whether or not you believe that he was involved in violent rioting on the heels of his cousin’s very public funeral, you have to admit that it takes a courageous lad of Palestinian extraction to come away from such a series of traumatic experiences in just a few days’ time, to express a desire for peace with Israel.
Fresh off of that news, and in a great show of political theatre presented as genuine compassion, Israeli PM telephoned the grieving father of the Palestinian teenager, who was apparently killed by an act of barbarism executed by six Israelis who were actively pursuing vigilante justice in response to the horrific murders of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. This act was then followed by the father of one of the murdered Israeli teenagers to phone the father of the slaughtered Palestinian to convey his condolences, and more.
That said, very little news coverage was handed to the arrest of a man suspected of murdering a 19-year-old Israeli woman some months ago, at night, in the north of the country, despite that attack being carried out by a Christian Israeli-Arab for “nationalistic” reasons — a common Israeli euphamism for Arab terrorism committed in the name of the Palestinian cause.
Thirdly, in what Jon Stewart brilliantly called “Mess-O-Potamia”, ISIS also enjoys turning Iraq and Syria into a self-declared Caliphate during the hotter Summer months. This allows them to conduct their version of warfare, which is more like a conquest by a horde of mindless evil, out in the open. They have, in fact, used this time to conquer and destroy historical landmarks that are sacred to Shiites.
Don’t get me wrong … I’m no fan of Shia or other extremist ideologies. However, I also do not think that destroying other people’s cultural landmarks as a matter of policy will achieve anything good. After all, if you tolerate this kind of behavior, then what will you do when they come to destroy your preferred shrine?
And oddly enough, while you hear the U.S. State Department and The White House interminably extolling Israel to “show restraint” against the worst kinds of cruelty — the kidnapping and killing of its children — you do not hear any such demand from the United States government about the death peddlers waving the black flag of ISIS. This double-standard is not only evident, it is a matter of American foreign policy protocol. After all, it is far easier to demand anything and expect results of Israel than of ISIS.
Lastly, if you think it’s a stretch to try to connect the dots between Hamas, Israel, the PA, Syria, Iraq and ISIS, then let me remind you that it’s called the Fertile Crescent for a reason. It’s one interconnected piece of land, and it is indeed a fertile breeding ground for warfare just as much as it is for agriculture.
Full disclosure: When not lampooning politics and the madness of war, Yasha Harari has composed music and written songs of war, peace and love, performed for millions of people, constructed and deconstructed homes in Jerusalem and invested in music, the internet, media and political organizations in the U.S., Europe and Israel.