I attended a small dinner party last Saturday in my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The food was delicious, making new friends was fun, and the conversation was the best.
I love gatherings where the conversation is about issues more challenging than the latest fashion or the newest fad.
Our host has traveled to the West Bank in Palestine, and so we had much to talk about. At some point, he brought out Israeli weapons that he had carried back to the USA in his luggage. Unbelievable, but true.
I suppose these made it through the TSA inspection because they are “spent” weapons —- they have already been used and are no longer lethal.
Our host mentioned that these are commonly found on the ground following every demonstration in the West Bank.
I’ve seen pictures and videos of the IDF using these weapons against peaceful, nonviolent protesters. They have been fired at point-blank range, killing young people who have nothing more in their hands than a Palestinian flag and some rocks.
Now I have a very good idea what I might see when I reach Gaza, although white phosphorous, drones and missiles are a whole other category of weapons.
Israel obviously considers this conflict a war, and has waged a war and maintained the occupation with these weapons for decades. Israel has achieved . . . . . . . . . . . what?
Certainly not military victory, not diplomatic victory, not moral victory, nor a victory of any kind that I can see.
One has to wonder if Israel will ever succeed in building a secure nation.
In my humble opinion, Israeli leaders do not know their “enemy” and have completely misframed this conflict.
Yesterday, I saw this 10 minute video where the Palestinian leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza explains his perspective of the “conflict.” He is fighting a very different battle than Netanyahu.
Neither is going to have success so long as they use lethal weapons of war. But Palestine is winning the battle in the court of international public opinion.
The Palestinian weapons of choice are the Internet, the blogs, Facebook and Twitter, the pen and paper, Skype and email. These weapons are proving more effective than anything Israel has thrown at the peaceful protesters and Palestinian civilians.
And the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is making a difference. This week an influential investing index announced it is removing Caterpillar from its portfolio because of Israel’s purchase of these machines to destroy Palestinian homes.
I’m hoping for a win-win in this conflict, but until Israel learns that it must change its weapons of choice, this is going to be a lop-sided battle in Palestine’s favor.
My weapon of choice is my camera and my words.