The Absence of Reason and Empathy in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Main point: In the face of a long history of injustice and suffering on both sides, the only way out is through reason, empathy, compassion. The latest trade of 1000 Palestinian prisoners for 1 Israeli soldier is a sign that all three are absent among the leadership in that part of the world.

It is undeniable that the Palestinian people and the Israeli people have both suffered in the struggle for finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict for land, for freedom, for a balance of power in the region.

However, the announcement today (not unprecedented) that there will be a swap of one captive Israeli soldier for 1000 Palestinian prisoners is as clear a sign as any that the balance of reason is drastically misplaced. How can such a trade be reasonable? And if this is what is considered reasonable, how can we ever hope to see peace agreement between these two peoples?

Here’s a video from 2009 of the Gilad Shalit (the kidnapped Israeli soldier):

For the Israeli people, this one soldier has become a symbol. Therefore, the trade of 1 to 1000 may not seem so drastic. But it is! Certainly almost none of the extensive media coverage that I’ve read today is at all outraged at the imbalance of this outcome.

I ask again: how is this not an indicator that one of the negotiating parties at this table has a monstrously deformed sense of justice? What is wrong with this picture?

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