Here we go again. The fighting in and around Israel reminds me of the metro section of the local news paper on Saturday morning. The small headlines on page 3B are like this: “Man stabbed in bar room brawl” or “Two shot escaping street fignt” “Lover’s quarel errupts into violence” – You get the idea. The local newspaper resurrects the headlines every week. And the names of the combatants are often the same.
It is the eye-for-an-eye mentality taken to the next level. In this case one does not have to actually lose an eye – just perceive a threat to the eye and we will take your eye out. Bar room drunken brawls are like that. Any cause is justification for escalation.
Billy Bob is sitting at the bar, sipping his ten ounce draft, innocently bantering with the bar tender. Bobby John is swaggering through the bar, tanked up for any woman in the same inebriated state. On the second date there will be a U-haul in the driveway. But Bobby John swaggers a little too close to Billy Bob and their arms bump. An ounce of Billy Bob’s beer is spilled on the counter.
Billy Bob can let the offense go, or he can defend his honor. On the off chance that some mentally disturbed female might be watching, he defends his honor:
“Hey,” he shouts to get the attention of his fellow braggarts, “Watch where you are going Bozo!”
The ball has been passed to Bobby John. Bobby John recognizes the opportunity to display his masculinity and retorts, “Keep your shorts on f@@khead. A real man would be drinking out of a bottle instead of that pussy glass.” He smiles and looks around to be sure everyone is aware of his deep intellect.
Billy Bob, not to be shamed or abused, rises from his bar stool, takes a drag from his cigarette, and blows smoke in the face of Bobby John.
Both Billy Bob and Bobby John have friends in the bar, some in close proximity. If a fight breaks out they may be inadvertently hit by a flying Bud Lite missle. Their options are to back off and stay out of the fight, or to engage and make sure the missle is directed away from them. With three bottles of liquid reasoning they choose to engage.
This whole scenario is considered by authorities to be good for the economy because jobs are generated for police officers, ambulance drivers, emergency room doctors and nurses, and carpenters to repair damages to the Bar.
The problem in classic and plays out in international politics. Everyone is so concerned about their image as tough and willing that they lose the ability to avoid escalation. The perception is that the perception of being tough will keep the bully away.
Israel has been fighting since 1948. The fighting has not solved their problems. The Palestinians have been fighting since 1947 – and they have the same problems. Fighting has not resolved any of the differences. This is the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s on a global scale. Somewhere along the line the agrieved parties don’t even remember what the original fight was about – they just know they are supposed to poke sticks in the eye of the other.
The end result is total foolishness.