Shame. Great shame.
It is impossible to be even vaguely aware of the news and not know that the State of Israel, important member of the International Surfing Association, is currently undertaking a massive military operation against the self-governing Palestinian territory, known as Gaza, to its south.
In response to an uptick in Hamas rockets sailing across its borders, the Israeli Defense Forces have pounded the the densely populated Mediterranean strip from the air, with artillery and a further potential ground invasion in the works.
Many women and children dead. Much destruction of property.
Whole apartment towers flattened etc.
Israel, defending its actions, vows to put a stop to the “terrorist actions,” with Defense Minister Benny Gatz saying, “If the citizens of Israel have to sleep in bomb shelters then Gaza will burn.”
On its face, maybe, a brutally asymmetrical but somewhat sensible argument.
In reality, though, absolutely absurd.
Now, BeachGrit regulars will certainly be aware of my bias. I’ve been to Israel and loved but have spent much more time in Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and love more. All to say, the argument that the struggle between Jew and Arab is somehow and ancient grudge match, more deeply rooted than any struggle on earth, is patently false.
The troubles began in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel and the subjugation of the native Palestinian population.
And imagine, with me, that for the past 72 years the International Surfing Association’s United States and Australia’s subjugated native populations regularly threw dynamite sticks, rocks, etc. at us settlers. Would they be considered terrorists? Likely not, but, most importantly, these subjugated populations don’t regularly throw dynamite sticks, rocks, etc. and why?
Because the United States and Australia have handled their shit. Not always beautifully but handled nonetheless.
Even once-apartheid International Surfing Association’s South Africa, bravely boycotted by Tom Carrol in the 1980s, has handled its shit.
While pretending to be a western democracy and plied with billions of yearly U.S. dollars, the proud little country has not even come close to handling its shit, not only failing in its responsibility, but continuing to cast blame on its subjugated, impoverished, alienated, trapped population for bad behavior worthy of decimation.
Squeezing the vice tighter, dreaming fever dreams that it can break the will of a battered people with next to nothing to lose.
It hasn’t worked for 72 years, it won’t work in 72 more, and this vast failure of both responsibility and imagination should be carried with great shame.
The greatest shame.
Man, if there are two things I can’t stand it’s a lack of responsibility and imagination.
Like listening to Joe Turpel describing Mick Fanning getting attacked by a shark in the middle of a heat.