Monday, July 17, 2006

The Scorpion and the Turtle

This is a repeat from two years ago but seems relevant in the perennially troubled Middle East.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Scorpion and the Turtle: The Middle East and Despair
The best approximate justice possible should be sought for the State of Israel and the Palestinian people. It would help enormously if the United States could say outright that Israel is an oppressor and an occupying power. Unfortunately political realities make it impossible to acknowledge that what the United States did to Native Americans, Israel has done twice in Palestine. The Book of Joshua tells the first story, and the second occurred mainly in 1948 and 1967. Israel insists that the Palestinians must stop the violence before progress can be made toward a Palestinian state. But this assumes that Israel and the Palestinians start as moral equals, forgetting that Israel is an unjust occupier of Palestinian territory. Irresponsibility is exclusive to neither party. The political process is driven by the extremists on both sides, robbing moderates of a prevailing influence. Reasonable, fair-minded Israelis and Palestinians are sick of the suffering and want peace in a practical settlement that will please no one completely but will partially redeem the tragedy of the Middle East.

Is there any hope? The scorpion asked the turtle for a ride across the stream, saying "I cannot swim."” The turtle refused out of fear of being stung by the scorpion. ""Don'’t be silly,"” said the scorpion. "“If I sting you, we will both die."” So the turtle gave the scorpion a ride. In mid-stream, the scorpion stung the turtle on the neck. "“Now we will both die. Why did you do that," said the turtle in despair. Replied the scorpion, "“Well, that'’s the Middle East for you."

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