IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

A small point about something controversial

I have learned over the years not to use the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians (and related matters) as an example when I discuss peace issues:  it is just too controversial and there are too many strong feelings all around.  However, I am going to, exceptionally, risk invoking this case to make one point.  OK…if you have never done this, go and look at a map and see just how small the territorial issues involved here are.  I personally have driven across Israel, and it takes not much more than half a day (on some less than ideal roads–at least at the time).  Still, this is one of the most violent and intensely contested conflicts in recent history.

Without going into the long and complicated details, I think one can learn something here:  the physical stakes don’t have to be enormous for a conflict to assume huge proportions and begin to look “hopeless” or “unsolvable” {I’m looking for adjectives that go beyond the usual “instractable”).   All this indicates to me that conflict(s) if not dealt with early and creatively (more the exception than the rule) just get worse and worse, regardless of what the original “concrete” stakes are/were.  While many don’t like medical analogies in social science, still the idea that if you don’t act adequately and promptly, conflicts tend to fester seems apropos here.

Just what I’m thinking about today…

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September 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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