Middle East Peace
One day I ran out to do an errand and left my children at home. In what turned out to be a very effective attempt to teach my children responsibility, I had assigned them kitchen chores on a rotation. Anyway, I came home and to my surprise, found that two of my middle school children were busy in the final stages of manicuring the kitchen. The dishes were done, the counter, appliances, table and floors were gleaming, and the cabinets were spotless. I decided to just accept good fortune and didnít press them for why they had been so diligent. It wasnít until several years later that I found out the reason. It turns out that one of them had assumed that the Ivory dishwashing soap could go into the dishwasher as a substitute for the Cascade detergent. One hour before I got home the kitchen had been a foot deep in suds. Worried about what I might say, they frantically cleaned the kitchen. They had just finished up when I walked in.
This taught me that whenever I see something that is weird, it bears investigation. Moses learned that lesson when G-d put the burning bush near him to get his attention. Moses went over to investigate and found out that G-d had a job for him.
I have been surprised for many years that men who fought in Israelís wars, men who risked their lives to win small pieces of Israel, when they get to be Prime Ministers or Presidents are willing to give it away. Weird.
There are times when I read a news story and wonder what is missing in my brain. Like when the Palestinians were using fuel oil to make rockets to shoot at Israel. Israel stopped sending them fuel oil. Well duh. But then people say that Israel is bad because they wonít send war materials to someone who plans to use them to kill Israelis. What is Israel supposed to do, send them loaded rifles?
Or when they tell Israel to start negotiating. We are supposed to negotiate about whether the Arabs will stop shooting during a cease fire?
The Arabs send their children as suicide bombers and blame Israel.
Even more amazing is the belief heard round that world that we should believe that the Arabs would be willing to live in peace with Israel if we just give them enough. Why would they think that? The Arabs have done absolutely nothing ever that would lead a normally intelligent person to believe that. In fact, they have never said that they would live in peace with Israel even if we gave them what they ask. They have said the opposite. And yet for years we talk about making peace with them. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Weird.
Most amazing of all is the fact that they have reinvented a religious practice that died out millennia ago. The Canaanites used to sacrifice children as part of their religious practice. Modern Islam apparently believes that blowing up their own children can be a religious act. It is fascinating that the very old are not suicide bombers. It is only the very young who are suicide bombers. The Canaanites burned their children as a religious act. Palestinian mothers happily blow theirs up as a religious act. And none of the human rights organizations around the world condemns them. Genital mutilation, forced prostitution, slavery, pederasty, wire tapping, prayer in school, shutting down a school newspaper, and not providing children with a good education are condemned. Blowing them up is apparently not so big a deal. Nobody talks about it. When Israel blows up Palestinian children, itís bad. When Palestinian mothers blow up their children itís okay. Weird.
I sit here in Denver and I watch all this and get confused. People giving away something they risked their lives to get, mothers happily blowing up their children, human rights organization unconcerned with Palestinian children. People we think of as intelligent from all over the world believe that Israel should do something which they know wonít work. We accept this as normal. This canít be a stable situation. Yet it is. And nothing much changes. It just goes on and on for decades. A new peace plan is always just around the corner. Weird.
And journalists believe this nonsense.
When the world starts acting weirdly, most of us assume that we donít understand the motivations of the people involved or that someone has changed the rules about how things work. When it gets really weird, we call it a miracle.
Knowing how politicians behave, how mothers behave, and how people feel about their life goals, to me what has been happening in the Middle East looks even weirder.