Recently, I was in an argument with someone who said “If it were up to me, I would have just killed all the Indians along with the buffalo and even now I would just go kill every single Indian and the problem would be solved.”
It may surprise you to hear that that statement is not what made me angry, I can almost respect someone who is at least honest about their bigotry and hatred. No, what made me angry was some other asshat on the thread had the absolute nerve to say to me “You need to forgive that guy and make peace with him.” Now my response to the first guy was not “Well I want to kill all white people.” In fact, I felt my response was rather measured. I said to him “Your attitude was rather prevalent at the turn of the century. Thankfully though, most people are rational human beings. You, sir, are a genocidal asshat.”
Now every forum has a “peacemaker” and that peacemaker was saying “Ok Ryan, there are two sides to this argument. There is no need for name calling. You have to forgive ***** and make peace.”
Now I am not always a very good Christian. I am more likely to punch someone in the guts if they slap my cheek than I am to turn the other one. However, I also have a keen sense of fair play and justice, and what bothered me was twofold. Firstly, my suggestion that someone advocating the genocide of my people was an asshat, was nowhere near equivalent to someone advocating the genocide of my people, and secondly, how the hell am I supposed to make peace with someone who just said openly that they wish I was dead and if it were up to them I would be?
The situation of an Indian in Canada is interesting. On one hand, we are no longer being openly attacked, but we are nowhere near being equal citizens. Our rights and freedoms are better now than they were 40 years ago, but we still have a long way to go with a government that shows more empathy to foreign indigenous people than to its own. But what struck me this morning as I reread the thread , was that this situation has an scary parallel.
People seem to have no issue telling Israelis to “forgive and make peace” with people who not only haven’t ever shown they want peace, but who openly advocate for the genocide of every single Jew. People who celebrate terrorist attacks. People who pay terrorists according to how many Jews their terrorism killed. The refrain from groups like JVP and J Street is very similar, “If only the Israelis would give just a little bit more, there would be peace” or my favorite “If they would just stop building settlements, there would be peace.” Both of those statements are abject idiocy, for there can be no peace as long as one side refuses to even accept the others existence. There was a cartoon about Kerry telling Israel to “meet Hamas halfway” when Hamas’s goal is to “kill all the Jews”. I get it, people are tired of war, they want to believe that peace is possible, and that everyone wants peace, but I don’t think that there are two sides who want peace. For the pro palestinians to want peace, they have to accept the existence of the state of Israel. Have you seen any evidence that they are willing to do this?
If a man walked up to you with a gun, shoots one of your kids and says “I hate you, I want to shoot you and your entire family,” then 5 minutes later he puts the gun away says “Ok I hate you and still want to kill you, but lets make peace because I want peace and I’m out of bullets,” would you even entertain the thought? If I walked up to you every day and said “I hate you”, then punched you in the stomach, then one day said “I still hate you but I want to make peace because my hand is sore,” would you make peace knowing that its just a matter of time before my hand gets better?
There is only one way to a real, lasting peace, and that’s for Israel to do what it has always done. They need to make the hard choice. They need to bite the bullet and go in, create a demilitarized zone. They need to use economic incentives to build an actual economy that isn’t stagnated by Hamas and Fatah and their greedy grubby paws. They need to take control of the education system, to remove the hatred spewing garbage those kids are being fed in school. It would be vastly unpopular in the EU, but I think its the only way forward.