News that trouble is flaring yet again in the 3000 year old dispute between Israelis and Palestininans should be enough to cause any of us in the rational community to slump in despair. But first, where do we get 3000 years from? Well, look at the etymologies of words like Philistine, Palestine and Israel-you don’t have to be an expert in the Bronze Age to get the connection, do you? It’s like one of those ancient feuds between families in backward agricultural communities, so old that no one can remember how it started-but they’ll die to keep it going. Are such people chronically stupid-or just missing a vital point?
Elsewhere two other stories caught our eye today. Anthony Cuthbertson in the Independent reports on a really significant advance in battery technology which could transform electric car technology. Elsewhere James Gallager for the BBC reports on the results of a major project to research the epidemiology of ovarian cancer. OK, it hasn’t “worked” quite the way its founders hoped. But we feel sure that the data and techniques evolved will one day help someone to come to grips with this terrible disease. Honest people, working at the limit, to make life better for us all.
And this is what the Israelis and Palestinians miss. What you can achieve when you don’t waste all your time and energy on frivolous disputes.No, they are not stupid-there are clever people on both sides. But as they sink deeper and deeper into grievance, mutual recrimination and uncontrolled anger, they have allowed their emotions to overcome their reason. Israelis and Palestinians are actually all too human. All of us can fall into the traps of hatred, from which it is then very difficult to climb out. They are an object lesson in futility to us all.
#israel #palestine #middleeast #reason #rational #cancer #globalwarming #electriccars #batteries