The lead story from today’s New York Times reports that the death toll in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has risen to over 350 people. Meanwhile Matt Drudge led off today’s news cycle with “INCOMING,” which linked to this story.
Moving away from America’s favorite sensationalist media aggregator-dickhead and into our nation’s journal of record, the Times sees “no early end” to the latest round of violence to stem from the region. With no end in sight, one wonders what the next chapter of this long and bloodied history will hold.
While few pretend to know the answer–in fact, I rarely pretend to know anything at all–I do contend that I know a good idea when I hear one. And even though that last sentence may be somewhat incomprehensible, hopefully, these next few will not:
The Middle East crisis is a mess of a war that will probably drag on for centuries unless we take drastic diplomatic steps. Besides looking at the complex historical causes for the bloodshed, consider the present situation: each time one side attacks, the other retaliates on a greater scale. One side needs to refrain from reacting when provoked. Such a course seems simple, but when we look at the desire for revenge we in the U.S. felt after Sept. 11, we can understand that it is no small feat to accomplish.
Appearing in Time magazine over six years ago and written as a Letter to the Editor by a high school freshman, the idea seems simple enough. Sounding vaguely similar to another, oft recounted saying, something involving a “turn” and a “cheek,” an actual stop in retaliation would require far more strength than either side has yet to show.
In their repeated attempts to resolve this conflict through military might, whether it be rockets from the south or airstrikes from the north, both Hamas and the Israeli government have refused to commit to traveling down the only path that will lead to long term safety and stability. Pursuing a course of diplomacy takes an acknowledged amount of difficulty. Of course retaliation is the easy option. Yet if some jackass high school freshman could come up with this plan, wouldn’t you like to imagine that somebody a little higher up in the chain of command would see it too.
Hopefully it won’t take centuries to happen either.