Watching the Israel/Palestine shoot-out start up again, I just want to put my head down on a table with a sad sigh and keep it there forever. Because there was no justice in Germany, there will be no peace in Palestine. Because there is no justice in Palestine, there will be no peace in Israel. And until both sides are willing to sit down and eat a very large bowl of bitterness, injustice and irreparable sorrow together, there will be no peace for anyone.
And because the Palestine authorities (Hamas, or whoever the hell claims to speak for The Palestine People from year to year) don't seem to have been able to figure out that you don't mess with Israel. You mess with Israel and Israel will punish you; measured, calculated, carefully calibrated, escalated punishment that will go on and on and on until Israel decides you've had enough (or you run out of ammunition.) It's wash-rinse-repeat, year in, year out. And the dead remain dead and the suffering continues and the arc of justice remains stubbornly unbent amidst the fury and death and bitterness, with no way out.
I don't know how Ruanda managed to bend their self-inflicted arc of injustice and horror. It seems unimaginable how human beings could even begin to return to a normal life, to say good morning, How do you do, to a neighbor or co-worker who . . . . slaughtered your family with a panga, a murderer who is, nonetheless walking around free, life back to normal. How is that possible? No justice there, yet there is "peace" in Ruanda.
South Africa, too. A kind of rough, uneasy peace that "Truth and Reconciliation" somehow managed to carve out of State-imposed injustice. For both countries, the bitter dish of confession must have worked some kind of magic. Confession, repentance, absolution, reparation.
Would that work with the Israel/Palestine Gordian Knot? I don't know. But I don't think the present situation is sustainable. Ultimately, Israel itself is not sustainable as a democracy in a part of the world awash with boiling religious sectarianism, and a growing demographic of non-Jews within its borders.
Which is why I end up laying my head down on the table with a sigh, wishing to keep it there forever.