Here’s an update of what I’ve been reading most recently (you can see them as a comment at my lengthy BlogHer post where I spell out a lot of my thoughts on the situation):
First, Jack at Random Thoughts continues to provide daily and sometimes 2x/day roundups with excellent links from both the MSM and blogs, from across the spectrum. Here is his update 9.5 (and that link includes links to all the other updates).
His roundup includes this post from a blogger in Bahrain but I would really urge you to look around that particular blog. I think that gentleman represents what it means to be Muslim and be secular and it’s in his presentation that I see hope – if it can get into action, into leadership. I could be wrong about the blogger, but that’s the sense I got.
Here is an interesting Newsweek column to which I can relate, Israel’s Arabs Are the Answer. If you’ve read some of what I’ve written regarding the time I spent in Israel in August 2008, then the sentiments expressed in the column will sound familiar: the wisdom of integrating, incorporating the Israeli Arab population 100%, on all levels.
If you need to be reminded as to why extremists such as Hamas, NOT the Gazan population in general or the Arab population in general, but groups which seek to impose particularly rigid codes of conduct often based on religious tenets on people who do not desire it, read this article about how a female Bangladeshi author fled to Paris. For people familiar with my blog, you know I have almost never used the word “Islamist” – I don’t really approve of it or even know so much what it means. But I can tell you when I read about what is not acceptable treatment under a government and what is extreme to me. And that story about the author is one example. Having spent time in Israel, learning about the different Arab populations in the region, I am confident that there are far fewer interested in such rigid lifestyles than there are interested in a stable, secular existence. The current conflict is completely conflating all that.
There are many photos and videos, from all perspectives, going around – if you google what you want to see, you can pretty much find it – pro-this, anti-that. Whatever.
Here is a Huffington Post item with photos that I received early this morning and here is a video called, Let’s Play Pretend, which many people find very provocative. Here’s a video showing where Gazans have hidden munitions. Here’s a video in which Annie Lennox calls for an end.
Today, there were some cyberwar tactics going on – hacking Facebook, hacking other stuff. Frankly, this crap is all foreplay. Some parties want one-state, that’s all. Other parties are willing to go for two-states if they can peacefully co-exist. Some people want a binational single, secular country. I don’t think it even matters if there are borders or not – either these people are going to learn to live with each other, or they are not. It is entirely within their ability.
Part of the enduring problem is the failure for war itself to settle anything – ever, since the creation of the state of Israel. The claim that the entire land mass has been occupied by people who call themselves Israelis (all religions and ethinicities) for the last 60 years requires that people ignore the 1948 war and armistice in 1949. You can do that if you want to – but it really results in some serious problems in figuring out what to do with millions of people in 2009.
On the other hand, if you accept that war does lead to certain agreements once ended, then all the incursions since then, and their results, need to be accepted. We can’t pick and choose which ones are legitimate and which ones aren’t.
And so this kind of lawlessness or abiding by law tug of war continues – because there isn’t even a common understanding – willfull or not – as to who possesses what, lawfully and that will be respected.
The problem I have with all of that is that we cannot turn back the clock. We can make amends, we can make reparations, we can alter things now. But enough with all the past stuff – which is all that’s being fought over in the social media, by the way. The humanitarian concerns are all real, but those can be addressed if the populations decide that they want to resolve their situations.
But, again, if there’s no common sense of the ground rules for working it all out, then these people will in fact annihilate one another.
On a different note, I’m hoping to get some peaceblogging going in the form of a Wiki for Peace project. I’ll let you know when I get a little further along.