Where was I when I heard that?
Okay, I know: I have not posted anything on this blog for quite a while not. Part of me says, “ha, like anybody cares?” But then, the intent wasn’t to be an ace blogger like, say, MLQ3 (an aside: the man is good. I’ve had the honor of working with him a couple of times in the course of my duties with the LP, and his mind works wonderfully. Basta. I will probably write something about some of the things he discussed some other time). No, no. This a place online where I can stuff these… thoughts. Mentats have problems staying silent. If for no other reason, my blogs are my sounding boards, so there.
Hearing about Ariel Sharon’s stroke should have a cause, more or less, for minor concern for me. I’m not one of his fans; ha, ha, I am part of the legions of people who, though understanding the need of the people of Israel for a measure of peace and security, think that the late, great Yitzhak Rabin and maybe his chosen successor Shimon Peres had the best idea in securing an end to the decades-old Palestinian conflict.
That was until I realized something: Sharon was the one who called – and managed to pull off – the Gaza Withdrawal. Its pros and cons are not the issue here; that an Israeli leader would do so is an act that can be called… courageous. The IDF withdrawing from Gaza and allowing the Palestinians to govern it. The sheer… audacity of the move was so unlike the conservatives of Likud, much less its leader.
I am not a pacifist. I fervently believe that a people who destory their weapons simply to make a point about peace will be the first ones to die – if they’re so lucky – under the bootheels of people who think in socially-darwinian terms. I am a firm believer of the concept that people have a right to defend their way of life if that way does not necessarily impinge on the ways of their neighbors, and that being sheep is nice, but there are always wolves on the prowl outside of the fence.
But I do believe that Men of Peace are the ones who truly make a difference when it comes to bringing solid results in the realm of conflict resolution. We Guardians are just there to allow them the opportunity to tame the lions. Peacemakers are effective because they change people in the place that matters: in their thinking, in their outlook.
How badly has the cause of peace suffered because of the untimely deaths of its leading lights? Yitzhak Rabin was killed by a delusional conservative fellowman of his at a crucial moment in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. John Paul II and Mother Theresa were given their rest at a time when the world needed men and women like them the most.
I think few people would call Ariel Sharon a man of peace. The man was from Likud, after all. But he was perhaps the only one with political will enough to enforce measures that would push the peace in Palestine, regardless of the cost to Israel. And given that Gaza, because of so many factors, is fast becoming a balkanized mess where the Palestinian Authority has no authority at all and the radicals hold sway, would the people of Israel follow another man who calls for a peaceful resolution to their ages-old problem? It is a mess there: hate feeds on hate.
And the people who have the capability to break that cycle of hate… are falling one after the other…
*sigh* Sometimes, it really is a weird world, isn’t it?
Where was I when I heard that?