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Flash in the Pan

For some time I have been trying to understand the situation going on in the middle east in regards to Israel and Palestine. One of the most baffling phenomenon that has come out of this whole situation is the fact that people have become willing to blow them selves up to make a point.

This is something that I really don't understand. I can't see how a person can wake up one day and come to the realization that they need to strap on a vest that contains 50 pounds of explosives, shrapnel and rat poison and then go blow themselves up on a bus or in a mall. I suppose you could say that I am apathetic, but I can't think of any cause that I care enough about that would make me even come close to doing that. I may volunteer some time or donate some money, but that is about the extent of it.

In my case, I suppose that part of my apathy is because I have a pretty good life. I have a beautiful wife, a wonderful child, a good job and opportunity ahead of me. From what I have read, most Palestinian people feel that they have no opportunity. Nothing to look forward to in life. If you have read any information on this ongoing conflict, you can see that the Palestinian people are living in such an atmosphere of oppression that there are very few avenues for escape.

What makes it worse, is there is someone to blame. There is a face that can be associated with the pain and frustration that these people feel. The Israeli government hasn't been doing much to help alleviate the situation. either. In the United States, or most other countries in the world, if a citizen throws a rock at a cop, they will get arrested. In the Gaza Strip, if a Palestinian throws a rock at an Israeli cop, the Israeli cop throws a grenade back.

This level of frustration and overwhelming firepower could lead someone to believe that they have nothing to lose by blowing themselves up and everything to gain by taking some of the people that are associated with their pain with them. In some cases, they are successful. Successful in the fact that they are dead and feeling no more pain. They have escaped. Successful in the fact that they may have taken someone with them. They have caused pain in return. It is a quick hit. A flash in the pan.

In reality, though, what have they accomplished? Escalating pain and tension. After these bombings the Isreali government goes into Palestinian neighborhoods with gunships and bulldozers to destroy the homes of those suspected of being involved. Palestinians die, thus creating more poeple in pain. The the cycle starts again. Death leads to pain which leads back to more death. It is a circular reference.

I don't know what the solution is, or if there really is a solution at all. There has always been conflict in this region. People have been fighting over that land for hundreds of years. The balance of power has shifted back and forth throughout that time. One group is stronger and better armed than the other, which leads to the opression of other groups.

One thing that we can hope for is that the current attempt at peace works and that the cycle can be broken.