Last night, I read an article about 5 Israelis who were (or possibly are) in close contact with Hamas officials and leaders. One of them was a settler, a rabbi, who became a good friend of A-Zahar, one of Hamas’ most powerful and influential leaders.
I’m not being too pedantic with names or providing any links because this article is not online (fancy that, me reading “offline news”!), but the point I wish to make can still be portrayed without names and faces.
The gist in that article was that the Israeli secular government fails to understand the Pals because the Pals aren’t really secular. The Islamic nature of Hamas, and thus, of the entire Palestinian population, of itself is what drives Israelis and Palestinians apart. Apparently, the reason the Pals feel like they’re being attacked is because their religious tradition is threatened by the Israeli secular “western tradition”, which possesses the potential of destroying it.
Only through religious eyes can it be understood why this is any pretext for boarish violence. Problem is: it actually makes a lot of sense.
The Pals are impoverished, poverty always being a strong correlate to religiosity, and are also direct descendants of a long Arabian tradition of tremendous, red-eyed religious fervor. Their entire culture pivots on Islam.
In effect, A-Zahar told the rabbi that the Palestinians belong to an Islamic tribal civilization, and our attempts to reach a secular co-existence with them is a mortal threat to their entire world.
The religious knee-jerk reaction to that is fighting, completely ignoring the fact that personal liberties are a blessing, and not a bane, to humanity.
The offshoot of this is that in the immediate future, it’s possible that the best way to reach out to the Pals is by sharing with them their religious insanity. The problem is that in the long term, organized religion poisons humanity. Religion can be fairly undestructive when it is a personal practice, but once it is ordained and dictates policy: we’re doomed.
The only way to peace between a secular nation and an ultra-religious nation is either by obliteration or conversion. Radical Islam has no room for compassion against those who wish to destroy it, and secularism, by its very existence, is an affront to it.
The way to reach out to the Palestinians is by textbooks, not bullets and shells. Only by educating ourselves (and them) out of the poisoned way of thinking that radical religion espouses can we ever achieve peace.