Another suicide bombing happened last week in the Middle East. There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of similar bombings by self-made martyrs in that war-torn portion of the world.
The only thing different about this one is that it received coverage in the U.S. news media.
These bombings happen with disturbing frequency in Israel, where Israelis and Palestinians have been engaged in a battle for land that each side claims is rightfully theirs. The most recent bombing seems to have dashed the hopes of U.S.-involved peace talks.
Shortly before this suicide bombing, “20/20” aired a documentary that examined the lives and views of Israeli and Palestinian children.
Children on both sides, speaking for themselves, described their desire to one day execute a suicide bombing and become a martyr. They saw martyrdom as the greatest potential for fulfillment in their lives.
These children expressed extreme hatred toward their neighbors and graphically described the physical revolt they expected they would experience should they ever actually meet one in person.
As sad as this situation is, these children are the products of generations of conflict. Each child has lost friends, family and ancestors at the hands of their cultural opponents. Both sides continue to lay claim to the same plot of land, and both sides are fueled in anger by the spilt blood of their ancestors throughout the centuries.
Though the United States is a relatively young country and is a nation of immigrants, there are people here, too, with similar expressions of hatred for their domestic and global neighbors.
The United States of America is comprised of a vast array of people with different cultural backgrounds, religions, political philosophies, languages, gender and sexual orientations, family units and economic backgrounds. America is no place for xenophobia or separatism.
Yet, there are many social divisions. One wonders how possible is it for such diverse groups of people to be united.
To begin, every person of every background must recognize that they share at least one thing in common with every other person: the conviction that their own belief or opinion is right. With this understanding, some level of mutual respect can be shared between people of wildly opposing positions.
We are all human and are all equal, despite the uneven playing field we have created for ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to treat each other as civil human beings and allow each other the same liberties and respect we desire for ourselves.
Respect and civility will not erase generations of violence, here or anywhere else in the world, but, if we agree to respect each other and exercise civility, we can hope to coexist a little better.
Vincent Lizzi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org