Extinguish extremism for peace

By From page A6 | July 23, 2014

I sympathize with my fellow citizens with deep ties to Israel and to those who are frustrated by the unresolved disenfranchisement of Palestine.

I began learning about Israel as a 9-year-old, sitting at my best friend’s house in what was then country property in South Davis. On the morning of an overnight, while eating breakfast cereal, this casually Jewish family was discussing the paper and quotes from the outraged Arab world over Israel’s boarder claims after the 1967 war.

From the comfort of his breakfast table, the father blithely said, “Maybe it will be that Israel will be swept into the sea.” Such dire words are at the root of this conflict and have not changed, as the conflict has not changed, before or since.

What discourages me most is how this protracted armed conflict has been used to validate militarization as a way of life globally. I want no part in funding this worldview.

In Davis today, I hope we can see that making a pariah of Palestinian or Israeli advocates is fruitless. In Israel and Palestine, it is true that the citizens on each side have failed stop extremism or to hold its perpetrators accountable. This failure has repeatedly ruined their chances for peace. Let’s learn from this mistake and set an example of peace here at home.

Scott Ragsdale


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