Thursday, October 15, 2015

Political violence in Jerusalem gets "personal", something that happens more often than we admit


A CNN op-ed  by Alan Elsner points out a terrifying reality of the recent street violence in Jerusalem:  it’s simply personal now.  He writes: “It’s almost as if Palestinians are sending Israelis a message: If we are suffering, we want to make sure that you suffer to.”

It’s a mindset that reminds me of how some of the military draft and deferment system (and even Special Training Company during Basic) during the Vietnam era used to work:  If I’m exposed to the risk of maiming, disfigurement and sacrifice, so should you. To avoid it was “cowardice,” a word we don’t use that way much today. 

I wonder if some street violence in US cities isn’t motivated by the same animus.  When some people see others “getting out of things” that they had to deal with, they may see these potential victims as having it coming to them, as living off their sacrifices.  But it was somewhat that kind of thinking that drove so much of the violence in the early to mid 20th Century, from Bolshevism to Nazi Germany. 

But for one’s life to end that way is particularly ugly.  It almost makes the idea of a memorial service an afterthought, and perhaps unwelcome.  

Pictures: from recent S.C. trip 

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