Friday, April 12, 2002

I will not take sides
I resent being prodded to take sides in the Middle East conflict. I have said before in these words, that I don’t support “the weary dreams of men reduced to war,” no matter what side they’re on. I don’t pretend to understand what drives the MEN who are the leaders in these conflicts to so willingly march their people to destruction. As a woman, I don’t share their testosterone dreams.

However, despite the fact that I protest war, if I found myself, my family, my community being systematically persecuted and destroyed, if I found myself facing a future of cultural and national annihilation, I might, indeed, resort to violence. I might, indeed, strap explosives to my body. BUT, I wouldn’t go and kill innocent people in a marketplace or bus stop. What I might do is enlist myself as a Mata Hari type and do what is necessary to get close to the murdering tyrannical bastards, and then I’d blow THEM up, sacrificing myself if I had to. (I guess you could call those estrogen nightmares.) Desperate people are driven to desperate, even self-destructive actions. It’s not right, it’s not moral. But if it’s war, that’s the way it is. Waging war has consequences. Suicide bombings are one of them.

I am monumentally grateful that I have never found myself in the position to make that choice and don’t believe I ever will. And I am profoundly disappointed that those who have never personally experienced the personal horrors of what is going on in the holy land are so willing both to take sides and to condemn someone like me for not.

Killing innocent people is wrong. It's wrong for the Palestinians and it's wrong for the Israelis. But if neither side doesn't want to deal with the consequences of warring on their neighbors, then they should simply stop making war and resolve to negotiate.

Personally, I think they should do what b!X suggests and put all the guys who want to fight in a big Thunderdome and let them wipe each other out. The proceeds from the tickets to watch the Final War to End All Wars can be used to help those Middle Easterners who want to live peacefully side by side to do so.
Voices from behind the front lines
I call your attention to the web diaries of the The Electronic Intifada Presents: Live From Palestine site.

When journalists can’t get in, local residents take over.

Most of the writers posting here are not professional journalists and their ability to confirm information in a warzone is often very limited. Despite this they represent a vital link to the beseiged towns that is almost entirely absent from the commercial media.

Residents of the occupied Palestinian territories are invited to submit accounts of developments on the ground to