The Olive Branch

Many have strong feelings about this intractable conflict in Gaza and Israel (but we must also include the West Bank) To think that the war will stop conveniently before Christmas and things will return to “normal” is naive, as current and future generations are and will be hurt and angry. A cease fire now, safe return of hostages and diplomatic action is needed but any historical conflict that, ultimately, is about land, is a complex zero-sum situation that will remain a dangerous pressure cooker or becomes a sleeping volcano. As we are battling crises that span borders, it thus puts into question the function of the nation state for humanity. 

That said, passported and non-passported identities pose a further question of citizenship. There are many people who are in conflict over parts of the earth and its labels – Ukraine, Tibet, Turkey/Kurds, South China Sea, Nagorno-Karabakh and numerous indigenous communities – fighting for their right to exist and belong. As much as the olive tree remains the same no matter whether its roots are embedded in X or Y soil, humans attach a flag to its branches and therefore blood will stain the sand. If mutually owning the olive tree is not a possibility, then perhaps sharing the fruit is. 


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