The discussion on the whole question of who did and is doing what to whom in the portion of the Middle East where Jews and Arabs butt heads has gotten rather huffy, which is frankly what I expect whenever this issue comes up. As I've said here, and there, repeatedly, there IS no solution outside genocide of one faction or the other OR a massive concatenation of impossible actions on the part of a dozen different parties in the dispute.
For example, here's my friend Lisa, a brilliant and lovely person whose opinion I respect in every sense, commenting on this post;
"The very tiny nation that is Israel could not be defended without the Golan Heights."
Which just makes me tired and sad. Here we are, sixty years after watching two insane World Wars that were ginned up to a great extent because of Germany and France repeating this about Alsace-Lorraine, and look at where it got them.
The sad thing about the argument that we've been having here and at MilPub is how it just convinces me how insoluble this problem is.
Lisa - for all her wisdom and humanity - refuses to see the Arab residents of the former Palestine as anything but "the problem", and meanwhile here are bb and Ael - for all their intelligence and decency - saying exactly the same thing in reverse about the Israelis.
Here Lisa is equating "liberal sympathy" with the Pals with anti-Semitism, while here are the guys - who I have to assume from mere politeness if nothing else are not arguing from a base of "Jews suck" - arguing for sympathy for the Pals because of the actions of the Israeli Right.
I don't think either one of them is "wrong"...and yet, in terms of solving this clusterfuck, they're BOTH appallingly and terribly "wrong".
The simple reality is that Israel is and always will be a Middle Eastern colonial solution to a European social problem.
Israel may very well be "warred upon" - certainly the Arab residents of the Levant chose to fight rather than accept its existence - but what the fuck else could the Zionist founders expect? They were Normans in England, colonists in New England, Portuguese in Brazil. They tried and succeeded in doing what hadn't been done since the late 19th Century; founding a colony. And this was just as the rest of the world had turned it's face decidedly AGAINST colonialism.
Now I'm more than willing to own my own country's atrocities and vileness in genociding the pre-1492 residents of the place I live. If a native American "terrorist" organization started rocketing North Portland and blowing up Tri-MET buses I'd shake my head in grim sympathy - before arming up to exterminate them like vermin. In that fight I'd completely understand WHY my enemies were fighting, and at the same time understand that there was no middle ground there; we both wanted exactly the same thing, and for them to win I and mine would HAVE to lose. And I'd choose for their women and kids to die rather than mine.
But at the same time, I'd also understand that that would make me a monster. I wouldn't make excuses for myself. I would be doing wrong, and willingly, because that's the nature of colonialism.
The very nature of Israel and its situation in the Middle East makes for monstrous choices. Lisa has made hers, Ael and basil have made theirs. And so it goes.
But here's the thing; as a citizen of the U.S. I don't HAVE to make a choice. I can blithely wish a curse on both the houses in this colonial mess. I can wish that everyone involved in the business had made better choices. I can wish that Truman had offered Utah to the Zionists. I can wish that David Balfour had choked on a kipper at the age of 16. I can wish a lot of things, and none of them will made a half-damn's worth of difference.
But one thing I cannot do is change the utterly-fucked condition of the eastern Levant, and the only thing I mourn is that it sets my friends at each other's throats.