Monday, January 19, 2009

Mutual Myopia

sent 19.Jan.2009
In response to an important article in Haaretz by Amira Hass asserting that the Qassam rockets coming from Gaza are one of the results of a long chain of historical traumas suffered by the Palestinians from before and since the creation of Israel, a friend of mine reacted with a totally netgative declaration: MYOPIA !!

I commented on that declaration:

Dear -----,
I believe that "myopia" is (aside from its medical meaning) a lack of foresight or discernment, a narrow view of something. It is definitely a term appropriate to the present situation and indeed to the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most Palestinians suffer from acute myopia as well as most of us Jews and Israelis.

I think we'll never be able to close the myopia gap between us without making a good deal of effort to understand the other side. We don’t need to completely agree with the other side, but a certain sense of understanding is essential. I think we would be surprised how a sense of understanding helps close the gap (compromise?) even when there is still no real agreement as to facts and causes.

Myopia needs to be treated on both sides of a fence. Probably treatment on one side is also contagious to the other side in some small way. At any rate, we have the privilege of trying to treat our own biased Jewish and Israeli myopia (though we have a right to be biased). Hopefully it may even have some kind of contagious effect on our neighbors. In any case, it would influence the things we do and say.

Best wishes

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