KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: There’s always a score to settle, but will the Israel-Hamas conflict cause more trouble?

Oct 9, 2023, 9:21 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

Palestinians celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis Satu...

Palestinians celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday. (AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah)

It’s been a while since my last trip to the Middle East, and I claim no expertise, but what I remember from visits to Israel, Jordan, Iran, Iraq and Qatar – is that everybody has a case for why history has been unfair to them, and a rock-solid justification that goes back not just hundreds of years, but in some cases, thousands of years.


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It’s not unlike what we hear in our own country. There’s always a score to settle, and if it can’t be settled with the people who committed the original sin, then it has to be settled with their successors.

And yet, who among us is willing to accept the blame for the sins of their ancestors?

And so, there’s a standoff, and the anger simmers until someone decides enough is enough and pulls the trigger, unleashing a new round of atrocities and new scores to settle that are no longer just about history but are very much in the present.

I feel especially sad about this because I’ve experienced the hospitality of the Middle East; no one was angry with me personally for being an American. They just thought I was naïve for suggesting the possibility that there could be a compromise.

The philosopher George Santayana famously wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

But at the same time, I also notice that those who remember the past too well will feel compelled to avenge it.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: There’s always a score to settle, but will the Israel-Hamas conflict cause more trouble?