The state of Israel has fought a seemingly endless series of wars with Arab militants in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This conflict has a very long history, going back to World Wars I and II, and several major conflicts since then, including the 1948 war that established Israel, the 1967 Six Day war, the Yom Kippur War, the Intifadas of 1990s, 2000s, and the several wars in Gaza of the last 15 years.
The terrorist group Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and has fired hundreds of rockets indiscriminately into Israeli civilian lands, which has injured and killed people. The Israeli military has killed many civilians in its retaliation. The death toll is much more on the Palestinian side, although the Israeli military says that they are at least trying to only fire at military targets in order to cripple the Hamas terrorism capabilities.
Gaza is one of the poorest places in the world and they are under an Israeli blockade. Their children often live in devastating and chronic poverty. Also Palestinians in the West Bank and Arabs living within Israel proper don’t have the same level of rights and citizenship as Jews. Some call Israel an apartheid state for this reason.
Is there any solution to this constant cycle of violence, death, terrorism, and extreme childhood poverty? Every year, the US government gives billions of dollars to Israel for military upgrades. Can we justify that as US taxpayers? Can Israel do more to work toward peace? Can they offer more rights to the Palestinians?
This is a very contentious issue with a very long history and lots of people who come down on the side of one religion or anther and that is the frame through which they see this. I want to ask if we can apply “Rule Omega” to this discussion, wherein we don’t assume negative or nefarious intent in our ideological opponents. Rule Omega means learning to recognize the signal within the noise. This requires a certain atonement and generosity towards the other, especially those who think differently than we do. And Rule Omega can only be applied to those who are willing to engage in a different game, and work with each other in good faith. If we apply good sensemaking and rules for civil discourse, we should be able to discuss this matter among people who are coming from entirely different ideological, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
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