Nowadays we see an unpredictable fight by individual Palestinians stabbing random Jews. How to understand this? People will say that this is because of the occupation. This is a simple explanation, but remains the question, why – especially young – people want to take this risk to die.
I studied sociology of religion finishing it with an essay titles: attempt to commit suicide. The search for meaning in life.
I think that search for meaning in life is a key to understand the present violence. Every human being is searching for meaning in his or her life.
There are several factors, which play a role, when some makes an attempt to finish his or her life.
1. An attempt gives a message: I don’t want and I can’t go on with my life in this way.
2. There is a lack of outlook for a meaningful future.
3. Bad experiences in life combined with point 2.
Is it possible to overcome these problems?
In the perception of some people, you will become a martyr, if you are killed by the bullet of an Israeli soldier. Such a death means that you will be remembered by your family and by your community as a martyr. You see sense for your life after your death.
For some Israeli’s it was a shock that on 20 May a Palestinian truck driver rammed into two police women.
The present deputy minister of foreign affairs Tzipi Hotovely said in her inaugural speech last May (21?): “We expect as a matter of principle of the international community to recognise Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere”. (cursive by me)
On 31 July settlers set a Palestinian house in fire near Nablus, killing the parents and their toddler. The perpetrators are still free.
At the end of September, when the Jewish feast of Sukkot began, the Israeli government allowed a group of Jewish fundamentalists called Atteret HaKohanim (who explicitly believe that it is time to tear down the Al Aqsa Mosque, rebuild the ancient Temple, and begin animal sacrifices once again) were allowed by the Israeli government to go to the Temple Mount.
Probably as a revenge for the killing of the couple and their toddler on 1 October a couple of settlers have been killed in their car by shooting, while their four children remained unharmed.
In my perception real peace means that every Israeli can travel freely through Palestine and every Palestinian can freely travel through Israel. Real peace opens the door for meaningful life for Israelis and Palestinians.
Louis Bohte ofm