My approach to dealing with Israel/Palestine
Posted by worriedlebanese on 02/11/2007
For over a year now, I have been experimenting with a new approach to deal with the Israeli/Palestinian issue. If one has to sum it up in one word, it would be “non-arithmetic”. I deliberately choose not to add 1 and 1, not to subtract an Israeli perspective from a Palestinian one (or vice versa), but to juxtapose them, to approach them as separate and distinct even though they pertain mostly to the same objects (land, places and dates).
In times of extreme polarisation, I believe there’s no other way to proceed because the conflict is so vibrant, there is no place for shifts and change, no place for a meta-narrative, no place for conflicting sub-narratives. Any attempt to increase the value of those narratives will ultimately fail because of the strong polarisation that affects everyone (from which no one can be immune from). Even if a person has a different perspective, he will have to take sides and sacrifice even his own experience to the narrative shared by his group. This is the price one pays for belonging.
The non-arithmetic approach that I have adopted is not a neutral one. I don’t believe there is such a thing. Actually, I don’t quite understand the meaning of the word “neutrality” or “objectivity” in such a context. When one faced with several narratives, how can one be neutral toward them? All narratives are subjective, and each and everyone of us follows one or another according to his/her inclinations. For a debate over my positioning, you could check out a debate I had a year ago with a fellow blogger Taltalk “Weighing victimhood and competing suffering”