Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Dan's right you know:

when Sharon targets the elderly representative of a people--the face of a man who could have been Tevia's father in Fiddler on the Roof--he has effectively stopped any hope of peace among this generation of leaders. i will not have part in the self-righteous political rhetoric and media silence that gives tacit and explicit license to Israel's policy of political assassination. specifically, i will not share in the presumption that a marginalized, geriatric's violence is somehow more heinous than that perpetuated by Sharon, Putin, Bush or any other commander of forces engaged in pre-emptive war making.

the world has turned a blind eye to international norms on political assassination in the case of the Palestinian debacle for far too long. it is blatantly disingenuous to legalistically claim that various leaders within the PA and related groups are not actual heads of state and thus do not fall under the no-assassination practices of our time. furthermore, it is nonsensical to meet out death and carnage from a position of profound military superiority and then expect those who are left with the remains of their families, their country and their pride to refrain from acting out in reprisal by whatever means is at their disposal.

Yassin is not without blood on his hands. neither are the Israelis. and neither are we.

actions of this nature--half ton bombs launched into multi-family dwellings from fighter jets and attack helicopters--carried out in an effort to kill anyone of standing within the variously inbred Palestinian humanitarian, military and governmental groups will guarantee an unprecedented death toll as the conflict escalates over the coming decade.

my words should not be viewed as justification of suicide bombing--nor, certainly, of terrorism. nevertheless, the convenience of quickly using standard story lines and labeling parties in conflict under the unconscionably ambiguous labels our various media traffic in masks the irreducibly layered complexity of this conflict.

peacemaking is a multi-generational practice. it is a long walk together. a privileging of conversation in the hardest times. a religious eschewing of ultimatums. a heritage passed from mother to son that finds voice and shape only in a community's life in aggregate.

we have to do better.

all of us.

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