Earlier this afternoon I was at a meeting connected to the previous chapter of my career, which had to do with history of the Holocaust. During the discussion a thought crossed my mind.
Lots of reporters and pundits are bewailing the fact that Israel's actions in Gaza right now are necessarily going to sow a hatred amongst the Palestinians that will be implacable and eternal: this being a rule of human nature, we're to understand. And also, probably, a reflection at least in some cases of the emotions the pundits themselves harbor.
It ain't necessarily so. You might want to reflect for a moment on the Jews of 1945, who then lived to be the Jews of 1965, some lived until 1985, and some are still with us till this very day. I assure you that the survivors of the Holocaust had more reason to hate the Germans forever than the Palestinians ever will have reason to hate us. I could detail how I know this, but if you need me to it's hopeless anyway, so I'll merely state it and leave it at that.
In spite of all the perfectly rational and reasonable and plausible reasons for hating the Germans forever, it didn't happen. First, in 1945-49, with hundreds of thousands of survivors in Germany itself, there were no suicide bombers, and no blind acts of revenge against the German populace at all. None.
Then, a decade later, the Jewish State already had some relations with the German one (West German one, to be precise). 20 years ofter the Holocaust, West Germany and Israel had full diplomatic relations, and many other relations also. 30 years after the event, one can argue that the relations between Germany and Israel were better than those between Israel and any other European country (which doesn't say too much, does it). By which time the relations between normal Germans and normal Israelis had long since become significantly more normal than it would have been to expect, back in 1945.
Eternal hatred is something one must decide to have, eternally. It isn't a law of nature. It's a decision. Eventually, the decision to bear hate becomes immoral, no matter how it originated.