On Gaza

05Jan09

I am tired of this. If there has been a constant during the few years of my perception of international politics it has been trouble in the Near East. The eyes of many kids of my generation might have opened for this topic first when the two towers fell in New York, but I still remember how an old man set the region on fire nearly exactly one year before.

The Ariel Sharon on the Temple Mound and the begin of the Second Intifada is not the first event in international politics I remember – being a German kid I could hardly avoid recognizing the war in Kosovo one year earlier – but it has been for sure the dominating topic in my perception. Everything else – Afghanistan, Iraq – came later and to a mind already corrupted by a conflict much older than itself.

And still, after all these years – nearly half of my life – the recent flare up of this violence and hatred strikes me hard. What shocks me most – though it does not surprise me – is, that in the reception of this conflict groups are everything and ideals are nothing. As you know I follow a lot of Arab blogs, and I trust their authors as people with whom I can agree on some basic values.

But the mention of Israel corrupts many minds. This conflict lets people put on blinders and distorts their views. Israel’s bombs and Hamas’ rockets not only destroy the houses and bodies they aim at, but also reason and moral values in the minds of those who are watching the conflict. As Mona Eltahawy puts it, “Israel is the opium of the people“.

I am tired of watching a bunch of junkies – European junkies, American junkies, Arab junkies, all spacy from the heaviest political drug our time knows – fighting the same conflict for the thousandth time. I have seen this Moebius too often, going round and round and round until we see the next ceasefire, the next conference, the next broken treaty, the next deaths. And again people are dying for nothing because the world does not want to learn from its experiences.

Meanwhile, a boy has lost its hope for a peaceful world. If ever all wars would end, I can’t believe there would be peace in the Near East. I just can’t believe it. I was born with this conflict, and it has been there for so long, how could I believe in its end?


"„Der Unterschied zwischen Reich und Arm ist der, dass die Armen alles selbst tun müssen mit ihren eigenen Händen, die Reichen aber können jemanden anstellen, der die Dinge für sie tut.“"— Betty Smith


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