CONFLICT IN PALESTINE: A FEW THOUGHTS
Prologue: They happen to be of Jewish Faith. I will not hesitate
to do anything for Dr. Lydia Solomon and Dr. Julio Levy. They are
wonderful persons. They are my immediate superiors. They are nice and
friendly. This is, how I got my first leap-forward in this alien
El Dorado. I remain a Muslim. I go to mosque at times. But I still
A religious faith has nothing to do with most of the conflicts around
this earth. Decoupling our religious sentiment (almost always tilted)
is an essential ingredient of a fair discussion that could levitate on
a ground-higher as expected by a free mind. Such decoupling is easier
on a personal level. But on a collective level, because a lack of
intense personal experience, this decoupling is much more difficult
Having said the above, I shall confess that, since the childhood to
the early twenties, I hear only ill of a Jew. Information coming from
a variety of societal tangents got wired in the cerebrum with of fervor
of antipathy and hatred. From such a pathetic harbor, I come to New York
City, New York. And thus I meet my first mentors: Lydia Solomon and Julio
Levy. I love and respect them. But at the same time I rejoice at the
plight of the Jewish population of Israel. Notwithstanding my liberal
education and thought process, in the darkness of my mind I still
possess a slight slant of untoward feeling against the Jewish. So very
strong is that initial wiring!
Keeping this handicap in the backdrop, I shall venture to speak of a
Blast of Flesh and Blood: Having been confronted by a perpetually
miasmic external milieu, we are in a perpetual fight for survival.
Thus we invent tools. Tools are nothing but the means of harnessing
the most with the least of expenditure. Thus we invent a knife, a gun,
a bomb, and an airplane. Thus we domesticate cows, horses and wild rice.
Thus we build our schools, our libraries and other institutions
including government. In an inflected way all those seemingly variegated
and unrelated entities are nothing but tools for us to brave an
unfriendly world and thus survive. All those are inventions of necessity
as dictated by the technological ability of the time. This
necessity/ability paradigm is the crux and may explain the
phenomenon of �suicide bombs� by the Palestinians.
Giving life for a cause is never new. Giving life for country is
hailed in glory. Japanese pilots fly kamakazi missions. Russian soldiers
blow up German tanks by walking right into death. Those are wars between
two nations, each having armies of almost equal footing. Then there is
another kind of war, where one opponent possesses an overwhelming
superiority, reducing the other to a guerilla warrior. We see this in
Vietnam, in Bangladesh and in Afghanistan (occupied by Russia). We are
seeing the same in present day Palestine.
Few millions of eternal refugees are faced to confront the third best
army of the world. Conventional war is impractical. Guerrilla warfare
is difficult. Thus starts the war of attrition. In the face of a very
powerful enemy, the Palestinians remain severely marginalized. Having
a maximum of necessity and a minimum of ability, suicide bomb is thus
invented to shatter the invincibility of the mighty by targeting the
most sensitive of the trigger points. This follows the principle of
harnessing the most with the least of expenditure. This is a natural
extension of their war of survival.
Targeting the Innocent: Is this so Novel: Then there is another kind
of war that is fought by the superpowers during the period of cold war.
This war of mutually assured destruction (MAD) is fought in the psyche
of common masses. The distinctive feature of this MAD is a threat to
annihilate a whole nation. Cities, rather than military installations
are targeted. Never perpetrated though, the message is clear. In
desperate times, even the innocent is not immune. The chronicle of
humanity is putrid with such acts of sheer madness. In not so distant
past, we have seen the rape of Nanking by the Japanese, killing of the
Jews by the Nazis, and nuked annihilation of cities by the United States.
The very concept of a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD)
predicates indiscriminate suffering for the enemy. Thus having a nuclear
and/or biological and/or chemical weapon is enough to kill the
innocence-of -conscience of a nation and thus enough to push it down
the slipper-slope from a perceived moral high ground.
A war asphyxiates the innocence. A war slaughters the innocent. Being at
war and being innocent does not make a sane sense.
Morality of War! Dwelling on personalities and the moral buzz of the
tools of war are utterly unproductive. Necessity makes a Palestinian to
pack his body with explosives, for he also strives for parity. War in
itself is rife with immoral nascence. Seeking morality in a war is just
another pursuit in peril. Having a finger on a nuclear trigger neither
Sharon, nor Bush, nor Blair has the moral authority to question the
morality of a much less destructive weapon (of explosive body-packing).
Arafat neither can claim any moral superiority, for he has done the same
to the best of his capacity.
Man of War and/or Man of Peace: War is an inflected extension of a
degenerated conscience that is confused by seemingly irreconcilable
interests. Opposing forces vie for same objective. Common sense and
innocence dies. They both are fighting for peace in their own
bamboozled way. Logic always finds a way of falling in line. In his
own way, neither Sharon nor Arafat is illogical. Dwelling on the issue
of �Man-of-War Vs Man-of-Peace� is rather moot. The reality is that,
hiding beneath the shroud of a warring behemoth, they both are yearning
for peace in their own terms. And this brings us back to the
Until the warring parties empathize, and identify one�s plight with the
plight of the other a compromise, and hence a bloom-of-a-peace shall
remain a distant beacon. Given the life-experience of General Sharon
and Chairman Arafat, such understanding is fraught with enormous
oddity. Beating oddity, however, is nothing new. Sadat and Begin
Lastly: In the mean time, distant spectators like us, intensely
emotional though, need to relax. History is merciless. Justice, if
not now, shall be served in due time.