Pat's View: Evil must be met head on but with more than guns
By Patrick Robinson
It's very important to remember that your views of the Israel/Hamas conflict and chain of events are distorted.
Not very comforting perhaps but nonetheless true.
Here's why. First, you are hearing news reports that historically and increasingly in recent times are focused on the most adrenaline soaked aspects.
It's meant to get and keep your attention.
Since these graphic images and reports are repeated over and over in light of the fact that they have little NEW to say (even in a fast developing story there is a significant lag between the event and its story). You don't hear, at the same time, any kind of rebalancing acts of compassion, kindness, and calm.
Admittedly, in a war zone, those are harder to find but still... you can be certain people are helping others by driving them, taking them in, feeding them, caring for them but those acts don’t make the news.
The distortion of perceptions goes further if you stay tuned to news frequently or for extended periods. A one hour event can become 150 hours of talking about it.
Secondly anything you hear passes through your OWN filters of fear, doubt and confirmation bias. You tend to believe what you already believe.
Here's some news for you. You are not always right.
Third, this conflict has been in place for a VERY VERY long time, well before the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948. Despite claims by certain factions, the Jewish people literally do have a very long historical claim to the land in Israel. Questions about the adjacent lands such as the West Bank however are real and their belligerence (even if they can justify it in the short term) can't and won't provide them or anyone else security.
Fourth , the underlying reality here is.. yes it really is, about money and the difference it makes. Look at who, where, and how the money flows around this conflict and some aspects will become clearer. Who is living well? Who is not?
Fifth, Israel cannot allow any group whose avowed mission is to destroy it, to function as it has. Hamas must be wiped out.. as ISIS was wiped out.
Sixth, you can doubt the current administration and childishly call the President names.. but it only reveals the intellectual limitations that you carry in the world like a dunce cap. The US. Government is a VERY large organization. While the chief executive can set an example and drive policy.... much of what happens is the product of group input from very experienced, knowledgeable, and capable people. Some mistakenly call this the “Deep State” but that’s just silly on the face of it. There are people in government jobs who have been doing them for decades.They follow long established rules and procedures. They act within budgetary limits set by congress. They don’t and can’t have any kind of collective agenda to subvert the will of individual politicians.
As for the comparison between the former President and the current one... 91 indictments, 26 women claiming sexual harassment or assault, the loss of a rape case in civil court, the banning of ever being involved in a charity again after bilking a children's cancer fund, the loss of his company assets due to massive fraud, dozens of failed businesses, and the daily spewing of verbal angry word salads ought to be enough. But the list just stretches out for miles with terrible things that even his most ardent supporters don’t disagree about.
The current President has had a speech impediment since boyhood. Mocking him for it says more about you than him. He's clearly implicated at some level of classified documents being improperly retained. But not at the level of the other guy. Not even close. He may well have had his family use their name to enrich themselves (and even himself). If he did that while he was Vice President... that's wrong and he should face consequences. No one is above the law.
His son has been a very troubled man who made serious mistakes, and committed crimes. He's got to face that and go to jail for it.
But yes.. the President is 80.. he walks stiffly, he sometimes gets a little confused trying to do the most difficult job in the world... but he also has decades of knowledge about how government actually works and a competent responsible team around him.. This conflict in the middle east won't be over soon... but the way forward in my view is for an international coalition to form as soon as Hamas is destroyed to get cooperation and a plan in place to rebuild Gaza City and other areas of the Gaza Strip and make it better, more modern, more economically viable and livable than it was before this war.
That's a long effort of course and will be very expensive. It's something that must be done.
And to keep THAT goal top of mind so those who believe war is the only answer are kept at bay.
Other arab nations should come together to TRULY aid their Palestinian allies. Not with weapons and not with angry rhetoric or threats.
Israel must PAY TOO to help rebuild their neighbor. But that effort must include a large contingent of Palestinian people in leadership roles to ensure peace is possible.
Human lives are not to be cast aside so easily by either side. The path to peace means providing human dignity to everyone.
Ultimately empathy and compassion in the face of evil is the right answer long term.
It’s the only answer.