Let’s not pretty it up
Despite the lull in Gaza for the moment, it seems endless.
Israelis are trying to kill Palestinians and vice-versa. Sunnis and Shiites are still trying to slaughter each other in Iraq. Protestants and Catholics have recently ended, for now, their history of mutual killing in Ireland. Let’s not pretty it up anymore with soothing euphemisms. Call it what it is: religious warfare. It’s not “sectarian struggle” or “unrest,” or “the troubles.” It’s people butchering each other over various religious beliefs.
It defies logic. Protestants and Catholics praying to the same Christian God, and Sunnis and Shiites praying to the same Muslim God, saying, “Dear God, give me the strength to kill the other guy, even though you told us both not to kill.”
It might be helpful to get an atheist’s point of view here. An atheist might come upon the scene in the Mediterranean, all that bombing and horror, and say, “Stop! Cease-fire! You are killing adults and kids over literally nothing, because no supernatural gods of any kind have ever been proven to exist. There is no ‘sacred’ land of any kind, since no god ever existed to give it to anyone at all. There’s no god there to fight for! So stop! Right now!”
You can’t win by killing people. You must find another way to get what you want. If you kill even one person (especially a child— euphemistically sanitized as just “collateral damage”) you have set the scene for permanent, eternal revenge, and hatred for many generations to come. War simply sows the seeds for more wars. You can’t out-shoot or out-bomb your “enemy”— you must out-think him and compromise. There are absolutely no possible “winners” in any war: Both sides lose lives and treasure, and you call “the winner” the one who has lost less than the other side. Both lost.
During my lifetime, I was first taught to hate the “enemy” Germans, Japanese and Italians, then later I was told I should hate the “enemy” Korean and Chinese (communists) and the Russians, then hate the “enemy” Vietnamese, then the Iraqis, then the Afghans.
Not exactly choirboys
Sareet Frazier took aim at Cynthia Kulp for shedding light on the Gaza situation. He interpreted that as hatred, which is too often the feigned anti-Semitic retort when facts are presented. Of course Israel has the right to exist (but not the right to expand it’s territory illegally); Kulp did not say otherwise. Frazier is wrong when he said Israel has not started any wars. Try as he would, he cannot re-write history.
Zionist militant groups (the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang) formed in Palestine prior to the establishment of modern day Israel. In 1946, Israeli militant Zionists bombed the King David hotel hosting a British oversight contingency, killing 94 and wounding 46 others. After that time there were numerous other deliberate, verifiable acts of terrorism, including the direct attack on the USS Liberty ship in 1967 (killing 34 U.S. service members), quickly suppressed by our press, and then the six-day war which they proactively started, among several others.
What Kulp is alluding to is seeing the whole picture of how people feel when land is taken from them. They react; albeit inappropriately. Maybe a facetious example would make things clearer for Frazier:
Let’s say the U.N. gave part of Montana to the Canadians. Think Montana residents would sit still? Then the Canadians set up and controlled their border and over time encroached on other locations not awarded to them. Meanwhile, no one is looking out for the displaced people in refugee camps in Montana and they’re getting frustrated and hostile.
Kulp is not excusing the Palestinians but she does understand their frustration as so do a lot of Israelis who want peace and don’t believe their leaders are exactly choirboys.