In violent conflicts, parties to the conflict are always under pressure to ceasefire. Ceasefire agreements tend to have different formats but there are two basic requirements that successful long-term ceasefires require.
Yesterday, on July 15th, I became a witness of something greater than any weapon in the world. I saw hundreds of people of different race and religion unite in the name of justice and true freedom in New York City.
My children have lived through three wars in six years. I want them to live and sleep in peace without worry or trauma. They want a childhood. They deserve a childhood.
As a country, we have continued to lose standing throughout the world as a legitimate voice for human rights, as a responsible member of a community of nations, as an arbiter of peace, or as a party protective of the planet. We have seen our standing reduced from a beacon of freedom to a beacon of financial self-interest.
Year after year, decade after decade, the same problems arise and the same defensive postures are immediately taken. It's as if neither party actually cares about solving the issue at hand, only that the other side is wrong.
Let's acknowledge and condemn the loss of any innocent life, whether it be Israeli or Palestinian. Let's encourage political leaders not to take sides but to help us find the middle ground. Let's read and then make up our minds, rather than making up our minds then reading.
If the majority of Jewish Americans decided to listen to new ideas, and to stand in solidarity with progressive, peaceful, solution-seeking Palestinians and Israelis, we could change the course of history.
With the security barrier and long-term closures of the West Bank, and the effective embargo of Gaza, Palestinians seem increasingly foreign to Israelis. But Palestinians are among the most democratically minded populations in the region. If genuine democracy has any chance in the Arab world, it should be with the Palestinians.
We, in the United States, have hard-wired into our national consciousness the one-sided image of aggression only coming from the Palestinian side and victimhood being the exclusive purview of Israelis. The story is of course more complicated than that.
People who have grown up with sirens, but have never witnessed a tragedy are desensitized. People who have suffered trauma related to this 50-plus year conflict are hypersensitive. I don't feel like I belong to this scene, or that I am entitled to a marked reaction. I try to be stoic and inconspicuous.
Once again, a conflict breaks out between Israel and one of its neighbors; this time, as in 2008, against Hamas, which still governs Gaza.
For Middle east peace to come to pass, our world needs nothing more than Israel as God wants it to be.
It is a remarkable phenomenon in which the victim and his tormentor become transfixed on the same scale of moral culpability. Through this process, the former becomes stigmatized; the latter absolved.
In a world where it has become exceedingly common and even trendy to be apathetic towards a different people's struggle, you are, by default, already doing something by feeling what you're feeling.
Beginnings matter. Questions about culpability and responsibility, about the narrow cynicism that defines so much of life in the Gaza Strip, sequence and motive -- they all go to beginnings.
This is the fifth major assault in nine years. When and how it will end is unclear, but here's what we know for certain: No good will come from this madness; there will be no winners; and when the dust settles and the tears dry, Palestinians and Israelis will be more embittered and will feel less secure.