Blind Justice 2/4

Justice is Blind – Palestinian Intifata.

In Tolerance We Are safer
Part 2/4

Killing is, arguably, the act of terminating one’s life out of fear, envy, anger or blind-hatred. In regards to the murder of ‘innocent people’, why are most of us fuzzy when it comes to the 16,000 people in the United States alone who are murdered every year? Why do we lose sight of the fact that 1,500 children under the age of 18 make up this tally and that the murderers of all these ‘innocent American people’ are not androids who come from some obscure planet and they don’t come from any vengeful foreign land, either. The killers are most often born and bred locally and, presumably, at least a couple of people in America have loved each one of them.

Honest question: Has Justice ever been blind?
It seems safe to say that ‘if’ she ever was, she is no longer as blind as she used to be. After all, aren’t ‘injustice perpetrated’ and ‘justice served’ mere constructs assembled through the lens of the proverbial beholder?

Many times daily, in order to protect some people in the name of justice, others are killed in the name of justice. A blatant example of that happened in a recent airstrike on the home of a son of Gaddafi, in Tripoli, where NATO forces killed his youngest son and three of his grandchildren. Which brings to mind the endless rounds of peace treaties involving the US, Israel and various leaders of the Palestinians. There have been many handshakes and many tabloid pictures and many short-lived cease-fires.

Together, they have synergized into the Fence of Separation that snakes for miles and miles protecting Israeli citizens from suicide bombers and isolating the west bank people from ‘real’ Israelis. A generation of children has been growing in the shadow of that barrier that is more formidable than the Berlin wall – also with its own checkpoints – without ever coming in contact with Israelis who are not soldiers. In short, the only Israelis they come in contact with are the ones who embody their oppression.

That generation of young Palestinians never see a Jewish father who is not a soldier, a Jewish mother who is not as soldier. They never see a Jewish toddler, a Jewish teenager or Jewish grandparents. It is not hard to guess that the sentiments that permeate this ‘petri dish’ situation can only be helplessness, anger and resentment at ‘injustice’ suffered by millions of innocent Palestinians who, like their counterparts on the other side of the wall, only want to get on with their lives and keep their family safe.
And again, where am I going with this?

Sifting through the millennia in all corners of the global world what seems obvious is that no lasting, healthy peace, no heart-felt understanding has ever come out of any relationship in which the protagonists acted out of fear, out of resentment, out of anger, out of envy or out of hatred.

Perceived injustice and justified retribution have always triggered animosity, regardless of the age, sex, creed, race of the protagonists – and regardless of the bone of contention. Envy always begets resentment which always begets anger which begets hatred and though we still pretend to the contrary, in our heart of hearts, we know that no amount of diplomacy or deterrent can ever dissolve these emotions, once they become engrained. Some prefer to cut to the chase and attempt time and time again to annihilate entire populations in one way or another. And still today, the word ‘annihilate’ is the rally cry of many millions.

Unfortunately, nothing can annihilate any blend of fear, envy, resentment and anger.

That blend can be forced underground, but it cannot be eradicated – not by bombs, not by solitary confinement, not by racial slurs any more than by cartoons, graffiti and rude gestures. The thing is that though not one of these strategies can stem the flow of hatred and separation, they all work as powerful billows fanning the flames of separation, of us against them and the mirror-image… them against us.

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