I’m not alone and I know I’ve used Buffalo Springfield’s 1966 hit, For What It’s Worth, on more than one occasion as the jumping off point in an article. The line I (and others) most commonly use is not the one I use today. Today it is, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” That is not completely accurate and my topic is the Hamas-Israel war and both its larger history and implications.
I guess I should start out by declaring where and who I stand with. First and foremost, I stand with the innocent people! They are both Israelis and Palestinians along with others caught in the middle of this conflict. That is who I feel compassion for.
In my mind there is no denying Israel’s right to self-defense as a democracy (as flawed as it may be particularly at this point) under attack by a terrorist group. While neither is a perfect parallel, I can see the comparisons with 9/11 and the current situation in Ukraine.
The “bad blood” goes back decades but for today I’ll start in the wake of World War II. The Palestinians (or more accurately at this point, their ancestors) had their homes taken away from them by others (mainly Americans and Western Europeans) basically without consent, consultation or compensation. Over 76 years later the situation is, at best, still in limbo.
Over the decades both sides are with significant sin and that continues and/or threatens to continue right into today’s conflict. The events of October 7th were both abhorrent and inexcusable. I don’t think any sane person could argue with me on that point. Some of the “retaliation”, albeit under extremely difficult conditions, has been at this point at the very least questionable. In all honesty before I’d completely condemn them, I need more evidence.
I don’t know exactly how or when the current situation will be resolved. This much I am comfortable in predicting – it won’t result in a permanent solution. I don’t see a single state power sharing/democracy solution. There is too much mistrust between the two sides and Zionism, whether you adhere to it or not, is incompatible with a single state solution. What I can envision is a two-state solution where both sides respect the other’s borders and sovereignty. Even that is far from a simple solution. Two issue I see are reparations to the Palestinians for land taken in 1948 and the fact that the Palestinian state probably would consist of two separate land masses. (The latter almost never gets mentioned.)
Sadly, for now the best we can hope for is for this hot conflict to go cold without it spreading into a larger proxy war or worse. (Have no doubt it is already to a degree a proxy war.)
Before I leave you today, I’d like to challenge you to think about a few things. Is Hamas, who is definitely exploiting the Palestinian people, the price they pay for making bad choices when voting? If so, what further price will Americans pay for the election of Donald Trump? The current conflict has given “cover” to unacceptable behavior in America and elsewhere in the West. Neither Antisemitism nor Islamophobia are answers or the reactions of a thinking person.
Was I middle of the road? Perhaps, but when everybody is wrong…
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