Donnerstag, 22. November 2012

Der Freund, der Konfliktbearbeitung studiert hat

"I don't have easy answers, even if I may make it sounds like this. And I know that injustice is being done by Israel and that we and the world need to speak out against it. 
I just think that it is important not to idealise one side of the conflict, the Palestinians, as a fighter for justice and to demonise the other, Israel, as an evil oppressor. It is more complex. Hamas is exploiting the despair of the Palestinian population to push its militarist agenda. They are no more working for peace than the Israeli hawks and generals.

No Palestinian is to blame for losing faith in the humanity of the Israeli occupiers. But also on the Israeli side the picture is more complex. It is not only militarists there, but normal people, who fear for their families and their lives. Targeting them, as if they were the enemy is not a great achievement that Palestinians have good reason to be happy about, but it will only deepen the hatred. It will not help to end the conflict.

The only lesson that Israelis learn from that is that Palestinians are terrorists, who don't care about the loss of civilian lives. I know that this is exactly how Palestinians see the Israeli military. But that is the point: both sides demonise each other and the only outcome this will have is a continuation of violence and hatred. Palestinians will continue to suffer and die and Israelis will continue to live in fear. There is no end to all of that in this mindset, only temporary breaks.

So is there another way? Only, if people, against all their experiences, stop seeing the world in black and white. Is this possible? I don't know. I have hope that it is.

I do know that I don't have to pretend to have to teach you anything about this. I don't know what it means to be a Palestinian and to see my people suffer.

All I know is that I have Jewish friends in Israel, who don't understand a lot about that either. And that many Palestinians don't understand them.

There is much more to say about this. One can probably never fully explain the complexity of such a conflict. But that, in the end, is all I want to say: it is not easy to make judgements and it is not right to be happy about a blown-up public bus in Tel Aviv.

(I did not write anything about the role of European countries in the world's conflicts and global injustice. All I want to say now is that, although I probably don't understand fully what that means, you are right: German, British and French people should be much more critical about their governments' policies, if anyone in Palestine is to take their criticism of Hamas seriously. People like me are probably no credible messengers. Maybe the message still rings true...)"

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