osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Like it or not, we're in for another very bloody time in Israel

First, let me getg the blame game out of the way -- neither side has leaders.

There is a delightful belief among progressive Americans that people generally only put themselves at risk and engage in acts of mas violence if they are poor/desperate and have good cause. Bullshit. If that were true, the same progessives would not attribute all mass mortality events here in the US to patriarchy or racism or whatever. We would attribute it to their pathetic poverty and loserdom, which these guys in the US have in spades. But while the pathetic loserdom provides the gun powder, we have no trouble believing that the culture shapes the barrel and aims the gun.

So too on the PA side. I'm not going to pretend Israeli policy is excusable. Indeed, the utter unwillingness of Netanyahu to do anything but maintain status quo guarantees these kind of flare ups. On the plus side, Netanyahu does not descend into the kind of response the Israeli right wing wnats to see -- the sort of real ethnic cleansing that people like to pretend is going on in Israel but isn't. (As with comparing everything with the Holocaust, comparing all acts of discrimination with Apartheid and ethnic cleansing means these terms lose their meaning.) On the downside, Netnyahu is unwilling to either embrace the Sharon solution (unilateral withdrawal, through up a wall, then tell 'em to fuck themselves) or a negotiated two-state solution of some kind (assuming that's possible, which you can't tell unless you try).

On the PA side, we have leadefs who keep feeding the fire that they will never, ever concede for realsies the claim to Greater Palestine from the river to the sea. PA media is an endless stream of rehashing grievances and praising martydom. In particular not a single Palestinian leader has ever tried to persuade Palestinians that they will have to give up claims on land in the Israel side of the two-state border.

There is no Mandela looking to cut a deal for a peaceful transition. There is no de Klerk willing to try negotiating. There are no leaders.

And where there are no leaders, there are mobs.

Now again, I'm really not interested in arguing whose fault it is. At this point, it doesn't matter.

I really, really hope I'm wrong. But we now have is not "armed resistance." What we have is undirected violence that pushes without strategic aim until enough israelis reach their breaking point and respond. Then we got lots of mob violence and lots and lots of indiscriminate death. Because the Israeli army, whatever you like to say about its "disproportionate force" yadda yadda, acts under discipline. Mobs of settlers retaliating for what mobs of Palestinians did do not act with discipline. just as a gang of Palestinian teenagers grabed a 13 year old Israeli and gleeful stabbed him 25 times because that wasn't a an actual person, that was an oppressor, gangs of 13-17 year old Israelis will do the same thing.

As for the police -- you are missing the fact that this is not happening in the "settlements" as most people in the west understand them. This is happening in Jerusalem. Whatever you might say about the legal status of Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, anyone who is actually familiar with the geography will understand why police and the army are incapable of keeping roving gangs of Paletinian and Israeli teenagers from seeking each other out and killing each other without the sort of massive curfew the International community will not permit.

I would love to hope that this doesn't get that bad. But if you look around the region, the hope is pretty slim. Which is again the problem of people thinking Israel is a Western country because we Jews are something special. But we aren't really any different from anyone else in the region. Kill enough relatives and you get tribal response. It happened in Iraq. It happened in Syria. It can happen here.

Now maybe it won't. Maybe, somehow, things will calm down. But I am at a loss for how that's going to happen other than with a much higher body count on both sides.

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