In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict two generations of youth have grown up with hatred for one another. So when Palestinian terrorists recently kidnapped and killed an Israeli boy Israeli terrorist kidnapped a Palestinian boy of the same age and burned him to death unleashing another episode of bombings, rockets, and shelling that killed many more children thus minimizing the original acts.
So what has really been accomplished by either side in all the resulting killing and suffering? Most certainly if each intended to kill out of revenge most certainly both sides have succeeded. If both intended to bring each other down to their knees in surrender they both failed for the thousandth time. All that has really been accomplish is to further guaranteeing that another generation will grow up hating the other more than the previous and Satan would have won.
It is ironic that what both sides despised most, Satan (or Shaitaan for Muslims), is represented amply by the evilness of their mutual deeds This is what vengeance and hatred is all about, doing the work of the devil instead of doing the work of their God. Isn’t God the creator and the Devil the destroyer? What can be more satanic than vengeance as Violence Multiplies Violence in an Endless Spiral? “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.“-Martin Luther King, Jr.
So what can be said about the souls of these departed enemies who kill and are killed in violence out of vengeance? I am using religious terms for effect though I am not religious. I do this because both groups are represented by strong religious beliefs. I believe that those who want to resolve this conflict most amiably are usually the least religious among these combatant enemies. So if killing and being killed is the end game then both side are doing a great job. We have for the last 60 years seen how violence and vengeance fail to resolve any conflicts instead resulting in even more vengeance. Have we in the West learned any lessons from this? How about 9/11 and the resulting Iraqi war? People in the Middle East may not be the only ones to behave this manner.
The killing can stop but both sides must realize that there are more noble ends than death and vengeance. Until that eventuality the irrational actions of killing will continue unabated and hatred and vengeance will continue to be passed on to each successive generation, but to what end unless one side totally annihilate the other. But if vengeance is annihilation then what is to prevent the survivor from portraying vengeance on some other perceived enemy because there will be no shortage of them? So a state of war will continue to be passed on to successive generations as no generation learns the value of life, peace, and peaceful coexistence.
Are Israel and Palestine relegated to a perpetual state of unrest, vengeance, and war? Maybe not. Perhaps the real enemy is not the warring factions but poverty which is the root of all large-scale unrest and violence. Perhaps if all nations recognized this then maybe a solution can be found. Most certainly Palestine’s population of 50% unemployed is contributing to unrest because what else do these people have to do with their time? It is easy for them to believe that Israel is responsible for their misery because in fact it is due to Israel’s effective destruction of Palestinian cities and infrastructure leading to more unemployed and dead people which engenders greater hatred for Israel.
Israel is by far the wealthier of the two. So it is within Israel’s power to resolve this conflict. Nobody realty wants to be killed or be part of violence. Everyone really wants to live in peace and earn a living wage. So Israel why not give it a try. Instead of spending more money on arms give more financial aid to Palestine, which is under your control, and help them rebuild so everyone can have a jobs to rise above poverty instead of tearing down, creating large scale unemployment, and killing them so they in turn will kill you. Vengeance doesn’t make sense. Providing economic aid and jobs won’t cost any more than arms and war and probably far less. Shouldn’t peace be the end game, not vengeance? Israel has a far superior military force and a much stronger economy. So it is Israel who must take the initiative to bring this violence and work of the devil to an end.