We are ok, so far today – and yet we are not ok. Our country is going to hell, jumping off a tall building without a parachute, or whatever other metaphor you can think of.
As of this writing, Gaza has fired over 850 missiles and shells at Southern and Central Israel since yesterday, killing several people and injuring others, destroying an oil storage tank, damaging some buildings, cars, and an empty bus. Israel’s air force has responded by killing many more Gazans, Hamas terrorists, adults and children. In Israeli cities where Jews and Muslims live together, Jerusalem, Lod, Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, and elsewhere, Muslim youth are shooting and throwing rocks at Israeli cars, pulling drivers out, burning the cars, and trying to lynch the drivers caught by the mobs. They have set three synagogues on fire. Israeli police appear to be overwhelmed and unable to restore order. Jewish citizens are organizing self-defense groups with the potential of taking the law into their own hands. This is not just another intifada. Lines have been crossed on both sides.
In my appraisal I may have unintentionally left out important events and rationalizations from the opposing narratives; however, my message to my Jewish and Muslim fellow citizens and geopolitical partners is this: we are in a No-Win situation. There are and will be only losers on both sides of the divide. The hotheads among us may dream of getting rid of the other side but they can only bring disaster upon all our heads. The hotheads on both sides may be a minority among us but they are a frightening minority and growing increasingly more frightening and radicalized as time goes by.
Although the dreams of the hotheads on each side have no common ground on which to negotiate a way out of this situation, the dreams of the rest of us on both sides, the majority of people on each side, the silent and quiet ones who desire fairness and justice for all citizens, have much in common with each other. We need each other to establish, guard, and maintain a fair and just government for all citizens. We are already on the cusp of establishing such a government with your help.
Neither of us can do it without the other.