Without condoning atrocities, I understand that when you take choices away from people they act on what’s left. If what’s left is minimal they act in desperation and that frequently leads to atrocious behavior. In the area of armed force, when one party has overwhelming control, if the other party is desperate enough they will resort to terrorism. That is certainly what is occurring with the Palestinians in the occupied territories. It is what the philosopher Thomas Hobbes recognized as creating a need for justice between the weak and the strong, i.e., that the weak could find the weakest link in the strong and inflict damage that the strong could not or would not sustain.
It is a consequence that those who place people in a position to react in that manner must share the blame for. Until that is realized, there will be more and more atrocious reactive conduct.
Only by not participating in the conditions that lead people to atrocious reactive conduct can we hope to be spared from becoming victims of the reaction.
Only the truly foolish step into such a cycle when they have no real vested interest in the conflict.
 Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, Florida, 2004; all rights reserved