April 1, 2008

Worth Repeating

This comment was made by Fievel Chuchem regarding the previous post. Good stuff.

It ticks me off that the Palestinians can't do anything to bring us to peace unless it's in some kind of laboratory conditions. Under those conditions the Israelis always "can do more" or "should have done more".

But, have you ever noticed that for these people conditions are never quite right for the Palestinians to do more?

They have to be coaxed. They have to be rewarded. They have to be keep the "Palestinian street" in mind. Their misdeeds against Israel have to be called "pretexts" for what comes in response from Israelis. Blah Blah Blah.

Here's the truth - we all have our problems. We can all do more. But, whether you've been here 3 years or 30, if you're not here, you've got no skin in the deal. Sorry to be blunt, but your ass isn't on the line. Your self, your immediate family and friends, your property, your job are safe from this conflict.

When we decide, for example, that we can't remove a roadblock to make life easier for Palis, it's because we value our lives more than we feel guilty about the inconvenience to the Palis, and this in no small measure because the Palis do nothing to discourage and a lot to encourage harming us. We're not perfect, but we're not blind, either.

Consider that most of critics of Israel never fought in a war nor do they know anyone on a day-to-day basis who has - I mean combat, not support, and they know no one personally who has commanded an army or platoon. Most of us in Israel know such people and hear from the inside what their day is like. We know that they have to decide which bomb to select to keep peripheral damage to a minimum. We know they order a flight from a lower altitude even though this increases the chance of being shot down, but it increases accuracy and thus decreases collateral damage. But when it's my son who's the pilot, frankly I care less about the lives of civilians who voted for Hamas than him. But because of all of you who bleed for the Palis, I have to put him in danger when I send him to the army. You think I appreciate your advice? No, I don't.

Especially because in our immense diversity as Jews very many of us support the Palestinians in this conflict, I know we'll never have leaders who will attack Gaza now and put the terrorists out of commission, knowing this will cost the lives of 200 soldiers, but save 1000 soldiers in the conflict that will occur 5 years from now if we don't do it now. Those are the kinds of choices we are forced to face, and all the second guessing just weakens us and leads to more Israeli casualties. Yeah - I agree there's more we can do. Same for the Palis. But until it's done, we have every damn right in the world to question those who put we Israelis in some sort of unique position to solve this conflict. It is, frankly, our reasonable opinion, reasonable because it's based on trial and error, that the kinds of concessions we can make to the Palis will more likely end in the destruction of Israel as a Jewish/Democratic state than it will in two states living side by side in peace. I don't think there are many Israelis who wouldn't take the second option if they could, though I think with 84% of Palis supporting the merkaz harav murders (by an Israeli Arab, no less) this feeling is not reciprocated. Umm - don't you think this is reasonable to keep in mind?

I'm sorry our conflict here causes everyone so much unease, causing them to shift in their seats or stand in the corner at the dinner parties. It's awfully inconvenient, and so damn clear what we should do from 4500 miles away. But my best advice would be to leave it to Israelis to solve the problem and butt out if you can't offer moral support instead of moral castigation.