I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood. While I am gentile, I do maintain that I'm culturally Jewish (while not religiously so), since the culture I was raised within was Jewish. My school would have members of the Israeli army visit to teach us the importance of serving in the Israeli army overseas (despite it being a public school), and many of my friends did do just that. I also grew up with the overshadow of The Holocaust, and trying to prevent what that means. And my neighborhood had frequent visitors from Israel, including the grandmother (a survivor of the holocaust) of the girls I babysat for four years, who would try to convince me to move there. This was my upbringing, this was my indocrination.
Because of this, I really feel for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Yes, both sides are wrong at this point, however... I do side with Palestine. In searching through UN documents trying to find the evidence that GWB purported on Iraq, I discovered that Israel has the most UN Security council resolutions against it for its treatment of the West Bank. Furthermore, there are more resolutions against Israel over this than there are all other resolutions. This disturbed me, and warped my childhood view. I then did a bit more searching, and discovered that Israel was told unequivocally to leave the West Bank in the early part of the 20th century... now 60 years later, and they are still there.
I feel for my friends and their families every time there is a suicide bombing, and I still think that Judaism is one of the religons I most respect, period. However, the state of Israel is a separate entity, and I hold it accountable for the wrong doings it has also done. But facing both of these issues is always difficult for me.
Thus, I come to tonight. It is the first anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death, and a vigil was held at the University of Pittsburgh. I covered it for the IMC. Just now writing it all up, I have found myself in tears once again while I review the pictures of her death (I was finding sites to include in my piece), and further words from her family and the words of those present at the vigil. This whole thing is tough on me, I sympathise too strongly with Rachel's bullheadedness, and admire her courage for standing her ground so resolutely. I also remain so very sorry that the conflict persists out there. One quote I did not include was from someone who spent a year in Palestine with his family in 1995, and he confirmed my suspicion: the conflict has been getting worse since that time, and it is at its worst point now.
Anyway, this has been my more biased account of the circumstances; I just needed to get that off my chest. Here's the article I wrote for the IMC. adders, I tried to do more interviewing and less eye witness commentary this time. :)
Also, I end with, rest in very much peace Rachel Corrie. I also honor you and your courage on the anniversary of your death.