I can't claim to have any insights on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Honestly, I have only recently started paying attention. If the truth be told, my attitude has always bee that there is going to have to be an all-out, to-the-death war to end the skirmishes over land and boundaries.
What I didn't realize (because I chose to ignore the information) is that, for so many people, it is an all-out, to-the-death war. On a daily basis.
An acquaintance on Facebook recently posted a really good note likening the Israel-Palestine situation to a U.S.-Canada relationship. He asked:
"Imagine this. The Canadian people elect a terror organization to run their government. That organization is sworn to the destruction of the United States. Its charter calls for us to be slaughtered. They hold large rallies at which they scream in unison “Death to America”. They animate their own version of Mickey Mouse for their children with Mickey armed with guns and rockets calling for our blood. They send suicide bombers into nearby Buffalo, New York and kill civilians indiscriminately."*
What would we do? Only what Israel has done - defend itself from the hatred and those obsessed with the country's destruction.
So it is through this paradigm that I now view the situation. How dare we protest? How dare people make a stink about dead civilians, when Hamas has been launching rockets into neighborhoods and schools for decades and Israel has tried - ironically - to turn the other cheek. The death of civilians in any war is a very sad thing - I am not without sorrow for the innocent. That being said, it is the government these people elected that is putting them in harm's way. When you are launching rockets from schools and homes, how can you expect NOT to be fired upon? To cry "foul!" is to out your own guerrilla tactics.
I am not surprised to learn that protests in Europe against the Israeli-Palestinian war have turned violent. I needed only to read that people were hurling shoes at Israeli Embassy guards to figure out the kind of extremists involved. The mind-set of this particular group of extremists is that THEY are the only ones with rights, THEY are the only ones who have lives that matter and that THEY have been wronged.
And guess what? These are the same extremists lining up for terrorist training camps that focus on targets other than Israel. These are people who want to board our planes. These are extremists that hate US, too.
"If you aren't terrified, you haven't been paying attention." I read that on a bumper sticker somewhere. It certainly sums up how I feel about the current situation. It isn't just about a strip of land in the Middle East. It is about how terrorist organizations get voted into power, therefore legitimized, and then start taking over the world - one small strip of land at a time.
*blatantly ripped-off from Gordon Hecker's notes. If you on Facebook, I highly suggest you read the entire entry. It is eloquent and succinctly stated.