2006
08.06

Try to imagine yourself as I describe here. You are a fish. A pretty small one at that, but intelligent, determined, and confident. You live alone somewhere in the south Pacific in a very-much desired area…we’ll say a coral reef. You have occupied this coral reef for only a short time, but your ancestors for many generations fought for your right to live here, grow up here, and raise future generations of fish here. In honor of those people, you stake your life and your rights as a fish to live in this coral reef peacefully.

Everyday, however, you live in fear of thousands upon thousands of sharks who circle over you, waiting for just the right opportunity to strike. These sharks outnumber you exponentially, but yet you defend your right to continue to live in the home where your forefathers fought and died.

Now please tell me…who is a threat to who?

Let’s now apply this logic to the current crisis (as well as the history of crises) in the Middle East. There are 5 million Jews in Israel. There are 500 million Muslims in the Middle East. Every border of Israel is on a Muslim country. Israel’s most dedicated ally (the United States) is 7 time zones away. Israel wishes to protect and sustain its borders and live peacefully with its neighbors, without the constant threat of suicide bombers and rockets being fired from across foreign borders. Muslim fundamentalist groups (as well as Iran, Syria and other governments) wish to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Israel, with a well-developed and dedicated defense force, does what it feels is necessary to destroy a renegade group that neighboring governments (who claim to support the right of Israel to exist) refuse to deal with.

If you were that fish, you’d be doing whatever was necessary to defend yourself against those sharks too. Even a liberal political scientist like myself, who wants to avoid war whenever possible, can understand the logic of this situation.

  1. I can definitely understand their wanting to defend themselves… I just feel sorry for all the innocent people who get caught in the middle. It’s pointless to me to fight over something like religion… People just need to understand that different beliefs aren’t harmful, their mindless hatred and closed-mindedness is.
    The beginning of this post had me thinking of Finding Nemo! Just keep swimming… :P

  2. Miranda on August 6, 2006 at 2:20 am said:

    The beginning of this post had me thinking of Finding Nemo! Just keep swimming… :P

    I was thinking the exact same thing.

    If some people would stop thinking that they are better than every one else, and that their way is the right way, then we wouldn’t have so much fighting going on. Like Miranda said, I feel bad for the innocent people who get caught in the middle.

  3. Right. People need to accept that not everyone is going to agree with them, but that’s not something to go killing people over. Differences should be embraced and explored, or at the least be accepted… not feared, hated, and used for senseless killing.

  4. Dave on August 6, 2006 at 1:00 am said:

    There are 5 million Jews in Israel. There are 500 million Muslims in the Middle East…

    but only a small percent of those 500 million Muslims are extremists who use fear & violence to promote their cause. Other than that, good post!! =)