Monday, September 12, 2005

The petulant child

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." ... Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.

"Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long survive." ... Opening statement of the Gettysburg Address .. Abraham Lincoln.

I am not an expert on beginnings or stability of any given nation. I have only the hindsight of history to judge what might be the future outcome any beginnings today. This is not a predictive post. It is merely an observation from the armchair of history.

Today, the last of the Israeli settlers moved out of Gaza. The Palestinians took over as the ruling state. At long last, they have what they have cried and fought for, for many years. Let's look at their beginning.

The house of Moussa Arafat, former Palestinian security chief, cousin of late Palestinian leader, Yassir Arafat, was raided and Moussa Arafat was killed.

Israeli synagogues were burned and Palestinian flags were painted on the rubble.

For years, Palestinian authority figures were figures of rebellion. The children of Palestine have grown in this light. Defiant opposition is all they know. Fathers have taught their sons the art of war and rebellion, as they were taught by their fathers. Now, they are free. They are free in their own state. There is no-one to defiantly oppose. They have begun, already, to turn that rage internal. They will tear themselves apart, if left to their own imaginings.

How do you tell a child, to whom you have preached hatred and violence for years, to put down his weapons and pick up his plowshare? How do you suddenly stop preaching the doctrine of hatred and return to the doctrine of peace?

For all practicality, what has held the nation of Palestine together has been their common hatred of Israel and the rest of the free world. Their mistrust of everyone else in the world has been their rallying cry. Now, that enemy has departed. They stand alone on their own soil for the first time in the life of many of them. They have no clue what to do with this freedom. They have no clue what to do without a neighbor to hate.

Time will tell. Will the realization of their lifetime goal be the end of them? Will they fade without the fuel for their anger? Will the raging flame within them consume them for lack of another suitable target?

Once again, I am no expert. I am an armchair politician. That is just how I see it.

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