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It's A Gray Area: Justice must come before peace

March 10, 2011|By James P. Gray

Probably the biggest tinderbox in the world today is the Holy Land, with the problems between Israel and Palestine continuing to deteriorate. But before I say more, I want to affirm as forcefully as I can that I completely support Israel and its right to exist, live peacefully, and thrive.

Some people will misunderstand my suggestions, and some may even do so intentionally. But having said that, the best way for peace in Israel to be obtained is to provide justice to the Palestinians!

How would you feel if you had a friend whose house was bulldozed by the Israeli government because one of their family members was suspected of harboring a terrorist? Often, according to the Palestinians, this happens with no notice, hearing, charges or redress!

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How would you feel if you were born in a "temporary relocation camp" 30 years ago and are still living there?

How would you feel if you had lost your job because it was on one side of the security wall and you lived on the other, and it takes hours to get from one side to the other? And how would you feel if your loved one was injured, but soldiers would not allow her ambulance to cross through a security checkpoint to get to a hospital?

If these things were to happen to me, I probably would first try to approach some government officials and request more understanding. If that didn't work, and it most likely would not, then I would probably write some letters and carry some picket signs in protest. If that didn't work, and it most likely would not, my actions might escalate into joining groups of people with similar grievances, maybe even start throwing rocks at soldiers. I believe all of these things would be natural human responses that would evolve from genuine frustration.

I hope I would be sensible enough never to be manipulated into lobbing grenades at civilians or becoming a suicide bomber, but I could see that others could be led into these acts as well. Radical actions can come from people who lose their dignity and hope. In fact, it is a truism that there is no one more dangerous in the world than one who has nothing left to lose. So I can see how this has happened to some Palestinians.

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