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Conflict in Plalestine: A Few Thoughts

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  • Mohammad Zaman
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2002
      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
      love them.

      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
      to achieve.

      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
      rational mind:

      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
      prologue.

      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
      did it.

      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.
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