Denver, CO, March 2, 2013 – John Davies-Schley (16 years old, Denver Center for International Studies)This is a reflection of John Davies-Schley following his interaction with former Israeli soldiers and his interview with Denver locals on the complexity of the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
The dirty little secret about complexity is that it’s everywhere.
Consider that my dad just doesn’t like networking with people at parties or the fact that my mother is a working professional but doesn’t quite get how to turn on the television. Consider me – I don’t do taxes or pay a mortgage.
Complexity is everywhere because it takes time to embrace the many, numbingly complex parts of the mind. I know one day my mom will get how our TV works. I have confidence that my dad will embrace “networking”. And, of course, I will one day pay the mortgage and my taxes.
Simple conflicts that the human mind can manage can eventually be resolved. Some, however, like geopolitical battles, are ever-complex, and therefore persist for extremely long periods of time.
Consider the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that has been terrible for more than 50 years. Why?
We live in a truly interconnected world.
The interconnectedness of our world becomes an issue when you start to see how many people are involved in certain conflicts. Take for example, how the goods and services trade between Israel and Palestine affect resolving political conflict.
The intricacy of exports/Import of goods, services and weapons
Israeli exports into Palestine totaled approximately $3.5bn in 2011, while Palestinian exports into Israel amounted to only $816m, according to the Israeli-Arab Chamber of Commerce. A great deal of people would be immediately affected if boycotts against Israeli products fully succeeded, one reason people use to perpetuate the status quo.
Take a look at the weapons trade industry from Israel to other countries, as well. It is the fourth largest weapons manufacturer in the world, it is an industry that has a incredibly significant effect on Israeli’s power and profits, not to mention humankind, yet common people have little to no control or knowledge of it.
Israel trains many of the US army and Police forces as well. It is difficult for the United States to sever ties (and a kind relationship) with Israel when it benefits greatly from it. Israel also heavily benefits from the relationship with the United States in terms of foreign aid.
It seems to many people on the ground, the only way to truly hit the Israeli government and get it to at least start to change, is for people all over the world to boycott companies that make technology that goes into the weapons that they make.
A little about The Soldier and the Refusenik and the future
One thing that I hear is that some people in Israel and many in Palestine are fed-up. There is an anti-military movement slowly gaining steam there, which seemingly has been coming up in places all over the world as well. Given what we have seen recently, I think we may be towards the start of an age of rebellion and uprisings.
We had all of the Arab Spring uprisings, the Syrian Civil War, and now the overthrowing of the president in Ukraine, this could be a watershed time in revolutionary ideas. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? I don’t know, and we won’t know, until this period of history settles down.