Ah! El Salvador is the blend this morning. I could get into a discussion of El Salvador, but what a digression it would be from the Middle East.
My high school class just wrapped up a long unit on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It is probably the longest I have stayed on a topic with this group. The conflict is pivotal to the region. The issue is used as motivation or excuse for behavior by many global actors, so it is vital to understand it from the inside and out. We do that through simulations. We were supposed to migrate to a more general discussion of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf today, but the schedule switched last minute. We resorted to a Israeli-Palestinian simulation. This one took place at the brink of the 1967 War. It fizzled. I considered continuing with the simulation for the 1987 Intifada, but I felt the class was pretty much done with the topic, and I like to follow them. There are areas in which they need to grow, but when we’ve gone into a subject, and I think they have it, it’s best to follow their lead. They are all eager and grounded individuals; they don’t fizzle easily.
The class had already done a present-day simulation. We gathered from that simulation that this conflict is not ripe enough to end. It sounds counter-intuitive. After all we’ve all heard more than we care to hear about it. It seems to have gone on forever, since Biblical times. How can it not be ripe enough? It should be rotting. That is the perspective of the outsider. Inside the wounds are too still new and too raw, because re-wounding is experienced daily. New settlements continue to go up. New rockets are launched. There hasn’t been any respite. Unfortunately, it will not be this generation that changes the paradigm, as much as the Americans try to impose peace and change from the top down. It cannot happen that way.
There are brilliant streaks of light that come out of this darkness. An example is Genesis-at-the-Crossroads. Genesis was formed to bring the two sides together through art. It has since expanded to include peoples from other conflicts. Perhaps this is the road to go down. Art and music skip over the intellect. They can stir and heighten emotion, but they can also allay it. Wrapping up this unit, I plan to attend a Genesis event and give them a donation. Turn the focus to an entity that is working positively. I have to end on a high note with some possibility for our time.