British: (adj) of or relating to Great Britain or the United Kingdom
A sense of doom hangs in the air whenever people discuss the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Because they have fought for so long–argued, battled and killed each other–we’re totally and completely convinced that any attempts at arbitration are futile.
I guess I would have a tendency to go along with this perspective, until I consider the relationship between the British and the United States.
Let’s look at it as a panorama:
The British were in charge of the Colonies, and the Colonies, in turn, were so loyal to the King that they fought for him in the French and Indian War.
But it was less than two decades later that the British and the Colonists were at each other’s throats over issues of freedom, taxation without representation and independence.
For seven-and-a-half long years, they struggled with each other, hatefully. And even when the Revolutionary War was over, the British Navy continued to conscript American sailors, claiming that they were really English citizens.
This led to another war.
This time the British burned down Washington, D.C., destroying the White House. So great was the hatred between the two nations that they actually fought the last battle of the War of 1812 in New Orleans after the peace treaty had already been signed. (No instant messaging.)
On top of that, the British government considered entering our Civil War–siding with the Confederacy against the Union. They didn’t do it, but it was touch and go.
So how did we go from this ferocious animosity to being allies in World War II, overthrowing Hitler?
Here’s the truth: we found a common enemy that was more necessary to defeat than maintaining our feud.
Is it possible that the Palestinians and the Israelis could find a common enemy to unite them, and in the process give them the chance to fight side-by-side instead of face-to-face?
I don’t know.
But we human beings are much more likely to unite for a fight than to see and agree.
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