A moderator of an “Israel-Palestinian coexistence” group just published her umpteenth appeal to everybody to tone down their rhetoric. I replied that there’s little hope of that:
The problem here is that because this conflict is tied up in ideology and religion, there really isn’t much common ground between the two sides. That leads to all the verbal violence. It’s hard to see past the religion and ideology to the real common interest–peace. Months ago you challenged me and a Palestinian you said was equally pro-peace to write about what we can agree on. I did. He, instead of writing about what we can agree on, filled this forum with emotional, one-sided, defamatory and boderline anti-Semitic posts during the Gaza war. I appealed to everyone to give him a break because there was a war on and people were suffering–hoping he would get back to himself and start writing about peace. He hasn’t, and he has never written that article. So we have a problem. We have Israelis and their supporters posting extremist garbage or negotiating among themselves, and Palestinians and their supporters asking “questions” like ‘Why are Israelis so aggressive’ or posting hate and filth — but I have yet to see a constructive proposal from that side. Here’s my way out of it, written at your suggestion, and don’t think it didn’t generate hate mail–it did.