Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pandora's Box

Over the weekend I drove north to Stanford with Karmit (that’s my girlfriend, Bush. I’ll introduce you sometime.) In a heartwarming display of filial affection, Kar’s sister and brother-in-law, both talented artists, spent two days designing the cover art for her first demo-album of original songs.

Since I was only getting in the way of this adorable design and production process, I wandered onto campus, letting curiosity lead the way. (Curiosity, I’ve found, almost always leads to some worthwhile adventure, Bush, as long as you’ve remembered to pack your moral compass.)

Dodging bicyclists heading to final exams, I gravitated toward Cecil Green Library and, once inside, followed some twists and turns before stumbling upon a drafty, musky-smelling room containing copies of the official records of the United Nations. I took down the volume covering the 1947 special session regarding the “Palestinian Question” and began to read.

It was an eerie feeling, Bush, flipping through those pages and taking in the words of diplomats who could not foretell the gravity of the issue before them. The ambassador from Great Britain spoke first, conveying in no uncertain terms that nation’s determination to wash its hands of their territorial mandate in then-Palestine. A few days/pages later, representatives from the Arabs and the Jews put in their two cents, employing many of the same justifications that we hear today, for why their side should control the land in question.

What has transpired since 1947 has been sheer bloody mayhem, and I wanted to jump inside those documents and scream at the top of my lungs. Scream what? Anything, I suppose, to prevent the U.N. from making that fateful decision to split the land in half, cross its fingers, and hope for the best; an invitation, if there ever was one, for hostility to explode into direct combat.

This week, almost 60 years later, a conference was held in Iran, in which David Duke (among others), was invited to debate the historical legitimacy of the Holocaust. The conference itself is the insult of all insults. Meanwhile, suicide bombers and governments of all stripes and religious affiliations continue to treat human life as expendable.

Two questions haunt me these days, Bush, as I await the day’s reports of escalating rhetoric and rising bloodshed in the Middle East. First, when was this Pandora’s Box of unending violence and hatred opened? Was it in when Hitler took power? Was it when the victors of WWI carved up the earth as spoils of war? Was it when the intifadah began, or was it when a Jew blew up the King David hotel? Or has this visceral hatred for our fellow human beings always lurked in the human imagination, its periodic rearing inevitable?

And second, how deep does the Pandora’s Box go?


GringoWithoutBorders said...

And yet, even today one hears Americans saying we should split Iraq into 3 separate areas. That has been the folly of Western powers for ages but that is what western powers want; divide, conquer and control. America has no right to SAY or DO anything to the Iraqi people. Who cares about humanity, law or the native peoples trying to live a normal peaceful life on their lands? The UN is the only organization that has the slightest chance to help the helpless, as they have an IDEOLOGY focused on the helpless and poor REGARDLESS of race, religion or nationality.

PK said...

Well Cardozo, if you treat the bible and Koran as historical documents, you just get in there and read. You will find out when it all started, and why. Yes, that's how far back you have to go to get to the roots of this damnable bloody mess. There are a lot of books interspersed in there too that will help. But you really do have to go back that far. And if you think for a New York heartbeat that either side is going to give up on this, think again, not gonna happen. How deep is 'the box'? If you haven't been keeping up with it, you got a whole lot of reading to do to find out... I kept a prayer and a hope that Clinton would be able to bring it together, Carter tried his least he got Egypt to back down, but the rest... Bush hasn't lifted a finger since he's been in office, except to send money and arms to Israel. Other than that, he just ignores the situation... David Duke is a first class idiot, how anyone can even listen to his drivel I'll never know... now he's in Iran, maybe they'll keep him, would be nice to get rid of him over here. Good post Cardozo, write on:).