Thursday, November 30, 2006

Seen Burston's Latest Rant?

Here's some excerpts from it:

Occupation is a dirty word. That is why it makes extremists happy.

Like all obscenities, it distorts more than it describes. It inflames more than it informs. It obscures much more than it illuminates. And like all true obscenities, it poisons those who employ it, as much as those who are its intended targets.

The poison that is occupation is in all of us. It is everywhere around us, even for those of us who cannot see it. If you live here, even for those of us who don't feel it - or don't realize that they do - it's inside of you.

Can you learn to live with it? Not really. Because it poisons all of our lives. There is no antidote that has tested safe. No cure. Only the extremist can live with it. In fact, the extremists on both sides positively thrive on the concept and its fallout, its mind-set, its bloodshed. Occupation gives extremists on both sides their reason for being, their sense of empowerment, of superiority of intellect, of divine right, of knowing what the rabble do not, of feeling what the masses cannot.

[Well, at least he admits that the Arabs are somehow "occupiers" but I'd wish he'd be more specific - is it only in Shiloh or, more importantly, maybe Jaffo, etc.]

It is the poison of occupation that pumps extremists full of themselves. It is the poison that puts that gleaming, terrifying smile on the face. It is the poison of occupation that fuels their passion for the messianic, their belief in messianism as realism, their sense of being able to make perfect, symmetric, rational sense of a horrific world.

[actually, I think it's more his hatred of Jewish revenants that pumps him up]

It is the poison of occupation that kills any proposed solution to the conflict that threatens us all. Only the extremist is not threatened. The extremist will tell you that he loves this place like no other. Believe him. For the extremist, a Holy Land in perpetual strife in heaven on earth.

...Hamas is on its throne, and is not about to budge. No compromise, no recognition of Israel as a reality, not even if that meant alleviating suffering for the needy, not even if that meant an eventual solution we could all live with. No flexibility over the right of return, even if that meant never having a Palestinian state at all. Not even if that meant that Palestinians could have a modicum of well-being, their children a future.

The radical settlers are on their land, and they're not about to budge. No compromise, no recognition of the Palestinians as a reality. Not even if that meant that the settlement blocs endorsed by our American ally could be part of a solution, internationally recognized as sovereign parts of the permanent borders of an internationally recognized state of Israel. Not even if that meant that we could have a modicum of well-being, our children a future.

[a modicum? doesn't he realize how much more terrorism there would be if we were not in our homes in Shiloh, et al.?]

...They want it all. If we let them, they'll take it all.

At this point, in our poisoned state, the moderates on both sides can barely bring themselves to function.

Envy the extremist.

Envy him his freedom from ambiguity, his immunity from ambivalence. Only the extremist knows exactly why there is no moral equivalency between the sides, and that only his side is in the right.

Only he knows what the world does not, what the world refuses to see. Only the extremist knows what many on his own side refuse to see, either because they lack his vision, or they lack his loyalty. Only he knows who's at fault for all our ills. The other side. Only the extremist knows who started all this suffering, who's entirely to blame, who are the transgressors, why they're the real villains.

What is this drug that allows us to thrive while the rest of us stew in the misery their actions and beliefs cause us?

It is the drug that is compounded of old dreams. Dreams, rivers and mountains and bottomless reservoirs of dreams, are the cultural birthright of our peoples, the Jews and the Palestinians both.

[actually, I envy the columnist whose position grants him the automatic worship as one-who-is-smart-and-inteliigent, when they're not.]

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