Contact Us    
The Unholy Land

A playpen with automatic weapons.

by Barnabas
September 10, 2003

Bookmark and Share

The Unholy Land_Barnabas-Playpen with automatic weapons
But current premier Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) was quoted as saying that Hamas' leaders were "dead men" while a senior official said that Israel planned to wipe out Hamas entirely. "We intend to liquidate all of Hamas, without any distinction between the political and military branches of this terrorist organisation," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Yassin said Sunday that Hamas would teach Israel "an unforgettable lesson" as hundreds of supporters gathered outside his home here to congratulate him on surviving Saturday's air strike.

—AFP, Sunday, September 7, 2003

Feudin’, a-fightin,’ and a-fussin’ ,
No use in standin’ here a cussin’;
Let’s get them ornery neighbors down by the creek.
We’ll be plumb out of neighbors next week.

Hit Parade, late 1940’s
Usually I appeal to the playground as a metaphor for arenas of conflict, but the exchange in the epigraph doesn’t rise to that level. A playpen is more like it. While we do not usually bother to analyze the antics between hostile toddlers in a playpen, we have to pretend to seriousness on this one because the toddlers are armed and bloodthirsty. You may also note that the above paragraphs more or less cancel each other out. The Prime Minister of a sovereign nation closely allied with the United States is threatening a blood bath — always an encouragement to peace, right? A “holy” man on the other side, Yassin, is being congratulated for not being killed (what a positive reason to celebrate!) in the most recent attempt on his life, and is threatening “an unforgettable lesson” for the Israelis — presumably a blood bath even more gruesome than the Israelis have planned for them.

I have stayed away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the comic concept of a “road map to peace” to end it, for the simple reason that I don’t understand any of it. Since I now realize that no one else does either, my comments can’t do any harm.

With the acknowledgment that I am wearing my absurd hat today and not my ethical one, I propose a more realistic approach to following the road map.

1. Forget cease-fires. We’re talking about an armed playpen, remember. Toddlers do not know when to lay down their weapons. I know it’s hard to get a playpen to follow a road map, but I’m too lazy on a Sunday afternoon to unmix the metaphors.

2. Recognize that the “holy land” is no longer holy—neither to rational believers nor to God above. The first event consecrating that particular real estate was the offering of Isaac in the book of Genesis. There God honored Abraham’s faith by sparing Isaac. Today, nobody’s child is spared. There is no recognizable connection between the deliverance of Isaac and the reciprocal slaughter of Israeli and Palestinian children.

3. If we are going to have slaughter, let’s be organized about it. In the road-map metaphor, let’s not have rest stops; let’s have a sustained slaughter stop. Just as, in a rest stop, we don’t get back on the bus until everybody has used the rest room, the Israelis and Palestinians should not get back on the bus until everyone who needs to be dead is dead, and everyone who needs to kill people gets them all killed. (It would be efficient if those who need to be dead and those who need to kill are the same people. It was the height of efficiency when a great granduncle of mine and his neighbor shot each other dead in a land dispute. It ended the dispute.) Those who get back on the bus together after the slaughter stop (one map, one bus) are those who can stand to ride with each other.

I realize on reviewing this piece that I haven’t proposed anything original. Excepting my comment on the unholy land, what I propose seems to be exactly the strategy being following by both Israelis and Palestinians today.

Comments (2)

Post a Comment

JWilson from Chicago writes:
September 10, 2003
I agree substantively with Barnabas on all points. I do want to suggest, however, and it will make me sound partisan, that there IS an ethical decision between targeted strikes on criminal organizations that result in collateral damage, which is Israel's tactic (and America's) and stepping onto a busload of schoolchildren to blow it up, which is Hamas'. The Palestinians must stop tolerating terror, that has to be a precondition to any lasting and conclusive arrangement, and I share Barnabas' cynicism about that EVER happening.

Mike from Merritt Island Florida writes:
September 11, 2003
I go back to a position that I presented in an earlier essay: Move all the combatants to South Dakota along with their shrines, etc. Convert Pierre to Jerusalem and build mosques in Yankton. We would probably have to modify our own shrine, Mt. Rushmore by adding the faces of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed.

I agree with Barnabas, let these people have at it and let the chips fall where they may. As the late Jerry Clowers said in his country song, Knock Him Out John, when John was up in a tree with an angry wildcat after a few moments he yells to the hunters below, Shoot up into this tree! One of us has got to have some relief! We all have to have some relief!

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
The Unholy Land
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Barnabas
Barnabas Says Goodbye
Moving on, not moving out.
by Barnabas, 1/19/05
Seats on the Fifty-Yard Line
Yet another American value.
by Barnabas, 1/12/05
Ethical Endgame
When children become sexual slaves.
by Barnabas, 12/15/04
Eighteen Years on Death Row
We have redefined 'speedy trial' and 'cruel and unusual.'
by Barnabas, 12/8/04
Hard on Drugs, Soft in the Head
Legalizing marijuana.
by Barnabas, 12/1/04
Wesley and Wal-Mart
Destructive competition as a stinky enterprise.
by Barnabas, 11/24/04
The Mandate to Govern
Third party time.
by Barnabas, 11/17/04
» Complete List (137)

Recently Published
View Article A Godwink Defined
Making sense of the coincidences of life
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/6/19
Making Deposits in the Blessing Bank
A grateful heart is a great investment
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/27/19
A Shepherd in Sneakers
Celebrating the ministry of Fred Rogers
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/22/19
Feeding Our Nightmares
The dangerous diet of late night news
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/15/19
Saluting Puget Sound Honor Flights
Pledging allegiance to our Veterans
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/8/19
The Tale of the Flameless Taper
An All-Saints Day Reminder
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/1/19
Sharing Love, Giving Hope
A tribute to pastors for Clergy Appreciation Month
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/25/19

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2019 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top