No weapons for Israel
November 1, 2023
I read your recent editorial (No military aid to Israel, Oct. 25) with a mix of agreement and sorrow. The horror and inhumanity around the Israel/Palestine conflict seems to defy solution. The many players repeat the same moves over and over, expecting a different result, but just continuing the nightmare.
Fifty years ago I met a young man on the train going from Libya to Egypt. He had been born and spent his whole life in the camps in Gaza. I was relatively unversed on what had been going on in the Middle East and he was a fountain of firsthand information. Since then, I have tried to keep myself informed of current events there and learn the history.
It appears that feelings of guilt in the West influenced the establishment of Israel in 1948, guilt for centuries of antisemitism, the Holocaust, and, in the case of the United States and others, the refusal to accept Jewish asylum seekers, many of who ended up victims of the Nazis. Where Jews and Arabs had coexisted in relative harmony, the partition of the British colony of Palestine into two states created political turmoil.
Looking at the map, one can see why. Israel was contiguous while the Palestinian areas were not connected. The result was the first Arab-Israel war. And so it goes, on and on, with Israel, far more powerful and backed by the West, overpowering, out-killing, and continuing to take territory.
This is a simplified version of the drama. If you really want to get a handle on it you would have to spend a large amount of time, going back hundreds of years, to get a better grasp of the situation. Most of us don’t have the time for that. Relying on the media, commercial or social, is not all that helpful. They tend to encourage emotions over understanding. But summoning our basic humanity is simple. Stop the killing. No more billions of dollars for weapons of war. All we are saying is give peace a chance.