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An interesting quote: Voices -- silenced or heard?

I came across this insight today when I was reading. (The quote is from 2002, by the way.)

"Look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, depicted as the encounter between two opposing and equal forces . . . Not only does the good versus evil opposition wipe out the particular conditions of this conflict and mask the vast inequalities of the sides. It also makes it difficult for the differences within each side . . . to be heard . . . Jew's are equated with Sharon's Israel and all Palestinians with Arafat. (And the world is stuck with both of these men as the only possible representatives of their sides.) If you're critical of Israel's policies, you're anti-Semitic; if you think there's a case to be made for Palestine, you're an apologist for terror. In a perverse way, this reductive categorizing has opened new space for expressions of traditional anti-Semitism; Jews as a group have become a target not only for those opposed to Israel's actions, but for racists who have long hated Jews. And it has deprived those who are not anti-Semitic but who are critics of Israel a voice. Thus in April, a French Jew showed up at a demonstration in Paris organized to protest attacks on synagogues only to discover it was a pro-Israel rally. Since this man thought Sharon's government had helped provoke the attacks, he couldn't participate . . . And there was nowhere else to go. There have been, of course, attempts to challenge these categorizations: many . . . have rejected the simplistic oppositions, calling for a more historicized understanding of the conflict . . . and there are a number of petitions signed by Jews who deliberately invoke their group identity to disassociate themselves from Israel's policies. Still, the overwhelming pressure . . . is to deploy the essentialist categories, to homogenize identity, to make difference a matter of moral qualities rather than of politics and history." Joan Wallach Scott

My point in sharing this is not to have an opinion on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Rather I appreciate the author's basic point and that can be applied to any conflict any where in the world -- that we need to resist the temptation to bifurcate the matter into good versus evil and into to monolithic camps of thinking. When we do that, voices get silenced, and we can't afford that in this world in my opinion.

There are many voices in this conflict. There are as many voices as there are people (individuals). There are not only two voices. I think it is important that more voices, if not all, need to be heard about this deep wound in our world (and in others that exist around the globe).

That is what I like about mepeace.org and that I hope it realizes about it's mission. That mepeace is a place and a way where more voices can be heard, and hopefully that can vector from the webpage into the real, daily life of living as Palestinians and Israelis. So that there can be less silence . . .

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