MANAGING A CHRONIC DISEASE — Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

I am presenting here the Israeli / Palestinian conflict in terms of a medical analogy.  It is a chronic disease.

In medicine we attempt to cure/resolve/ eradicate disease states.  Our goal is the elimination of the pathological process which has produced the illness.  However, there are diseases which (based on the present state of medical knowledge) may NEVER be cured.

Known as chronic diseases, they are, at best, “managed”.  This often requires significant doses of medication.  It requires frequent re-evaluation.  Sometimes it requires hospitalization to deal with deterioration of conditions. Sometimes there is pain and suffering which must be endured. It can result in a life which is less than ideal but still valuable and meaningful.  And so, life goes on.  

 Just listening to Palestinians being interviewed regarding their attitude towards Israel and Israelis brings little hope of reconciliation.  Raised on hatred, they  are still  willing and ready to sacrifice their children as martyrs to destroy Israelis.  They do not recognize that the State of Israel even exists.  It is all Palestine, and in their eyes, time is on their side.  Only the dissolution of the country of Israel and the death of its Jewish inhabitants will do.

 Now considering the historical fact of continuous Jewish survival in the face of adversity, and the powerful IDF, I will boldly venture out on a limb and state that Israel will not self-destruct.  And furthermore, the Palestinians will continue to pay a disproportionate toll if fighting persists. 

 So we have an incurable process.  Like a chronic disease the only solution is to manage it as best as possible.  And meanwhile Israelis continue to do so with an energy and zest for life which is quite remarkable. They continue to live, to thrive, to have a culture, to do science and business and music and art.  Palestinians have no culture other than hatred.  Do they make art? music? science? medicine?  It is a waste of human potential and that hurts us all. But their hatred blinds them to all else.   Their chronic disease ravages them.

 What Palestinians don’t understand is this– the vast majority of polled Israelis don’t hate them.  They may hate their refusal to face the reality of Israeli existence, their continual harassment of Israelis and their perverted sense of moral outrage and religious fundamentalism. 

 So the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will persist like a chronic disease.  It seems as if it will never be cured because their is no grounds for civilized compromise.  Meanwhile Israel has lived with this chronic disease not only since its inception 66 years ago, but as Jews with the chronic disease of rapid anti-Semitism for more than two millennia. Who will deal with their disease better? 

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