Posted by: mydarkestplaces | August 11, 2010

I just don’t understand hate

It’s funny to me that I count myself a student of history mainly because I’m not a very good student. I tend to turn off my brain when it’s challenged by events or ideas that offend. This means I end up with a basic knowledge of chronological events, but no real understanding.

A case in point: Israel-Palestine. I know that the fledgling UN semi-arbitrarily ceded then-Palestine to survivors of the holocaust. I know things turned radically violent in 1967. I know there was a tenuous peace brokered in the 1990s (and came unravelled soon after). But none of this explains the “why.” I get where both sides are coming from, but I don’t understand the hate that builds a wall between pride/history and the general welfare of the population. Is pride worth having kids blowing up themselves , their neighbors?

I was watching a special on World War II last night. World War II, the Good War, the Just War, the Necessary War, and the atrocities committed (by both sides) are overwhelming. The Vietnam War – My Lai. The latest Gulf War – Abu Ghraib. And none of these include genocides perpetrated by governments within their own borders: Turks/Armenians. Russians/Ukranians. Serbs/Albanians. Khmer Rouge/Cambodians. Hutus/Tutsis. This is just a small sample from the past 100 years. But it begs the question: how is this acceptable?

Is it because people like me bury our heads, pretending it doesn’t exist, doesn’t happen because acknowledging it is to acknowledge hatred, pain and a powerlessness to stop it?

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