Arab

Reflections in August 2014 vol.1

by mgopin on August 19, 2014 · 3 comments

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Galilee

In war in an age of war the act of ultimate defiance is to make another human being feel wonderful.

Testosterone, gestures of kindness are semen seeds. Men get busy, it will make you inherently happy and bear you many children.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). A doctrine that was supposed to be about deterrence, not prophecy. #Israel#Hamas#Palestine

Mimicry, the compulsion of humans to mirror their postures, facial expressions, and enemy war cries. Most posts on FB and Twitter. 

Better to deny the past in fear and embrace the present with courage than to embrace the past with courage and deny the present in fear.

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Shades of Heaven / Birth

by mgopin on August 14, 2014 · 4 comments

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peace-syria

SHADES OF HEAVEN

When a theologian of another religion says what you were thinking the moment before it comes out of your mouth #syria, with the Bosnian hero Father Ivo.

BIRTH

The warrior is born at 15000 feet,
With the press of a thumb.
The anti-warrior is born underneath cement,
With the press of a shovel,
Eyeing,
The first,
Grey,
Thumb.

 

(Photo: Now Media)…

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Reflection on Yazidis

by mgopin on August 7, 2014 · 4 comments

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Yazidi Family (Source: Aquila-Style)
Yazidi Family (Aquila-Style)

 

I am starting to understand the human sacrifice of this people to the so-called Islamic State. They are loved by no one because they are not Muslim, falsely accused of being devil worshippers for having a different theology related to but different than the Islamic narrative, neither Sunni nor Shia. The Kurds have protected them, as they bravely do other minorities, and the Americans protected them, all from Sunni extremists funded by the Arab Gulf. Kurdistan is one of the last hopes of this region.

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Sins of the Nonviolent

by mgopin on August 4, 2014 · 6 comments

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Ghandi

Warriors carry the sins of violence, of killing the innocent, intentionally and by negligence. But the nonviolent carry sins too, because war is a collective crime and must be understood in its totality as an anti-civilization human phenomenon. The nonviolent play their role. Their sin is the sin of negativity, divestment, emotional distance, bifurcation, polarization, demonization. Divestment and hate are easy but more cowardly. It is the same everywhere. Arabs and muslims walk away from Syria if they are nonviolent, even fellow Syrians. They don’t support. Violent people are guilty of their own crimes but nonviolent are guilty of the sin of negativity, emotional cowardice and selfishness. …

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Essential to Peacebuilding

by mgopin on July 29, 2014 · 2 comments

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Essential to Peacebuilding is learning to accept blows, bad ones. How can we expect Israelis or Syrians or Iraqis not to become killers after suicide bombs on their streets or Palestinians not to become Hamasniks after losing everything if we cannot happily accept insults?
Education does not matter on these challenges. It is education of the heart that allows you to accept blows for the greater good of peace.

IP heart education

(Photo source: Belfast Telegraph)…

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Note from the War Front to Fellow Jews

by mgopin on July 24, 2014 · 1 comment

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The relationships between loving Jews and Arabs, even in Gaza right this moment, is plainly evident. I get reports every day. But it is hard to imagine for those who carry suspicion and fear and loathing of one side. But let’s talk about the strategic and moral and rational necessity of empathy. Hamas is their only defense right now. Hamas is not seen as the oppressor thanks to the twelve year siege and the constant wars. They WOULD be seen as such if anyone had a chance to live a normal life in Gaza. Would you have seen the Stern Gang as an oppressor in 1945, with both the British and the Nazis bearing down on you and the Mufti siding with the Nazis, even if you hated their philosophy of violence against civilians? You don’t have to approve of Hamas, you can consider them criminals, they are.  But you

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Reflections on Disunion and Union

by mgopin on July 16, 2014 · 4 comments

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holdinghands

It is hard to over estimate who is bleeding more in all the people that you meet. The walking wounded are everywhere. Like zombies. That puts conflict management and mitigation in a whole different light. 

There is no battle in the war on prejudice. The battlefront is us. Expect everyone, including yourself, to be prejudiced and then be pleasantly surprised.

We are all hopelessly divided especially, in the strange brain patterns that we call ideologies. But it is equally true that love conquers all, even the most bizarre differences among us. We have all witnessed that this is possible.

Two people claim the same house. They build a vision of a world without the other. Then they meet. Then they look into each other’s eyes and fall in love, just then. Then they proceed to pray for peace together. The insane beauty of the human capacity for sympathy, compassion, and

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Thoughts On War This Week

by mgopin on July 12, 2014 · 5 comments

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We Shall Overcome- MLK

“We Shall Overcome Because the Arc of the Moral Universe is Long; But It Bends tward Justice.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

COLOR
Black and white are the colors of war, and the rest are the colors of peace. Black and white misfire the human brain. Symptoms of disease, they are the colors of paranoia, fear, false righteousness, emptiness, and panic. The other colors embrace mixture, love making, uncertainty, evolution, and merging. Sacred life is in the rainbow.

The white light of bombs streaks across the sky and fills our hearts with terror, the light of the rainbow streaks across the sky and fills us with hope.

The light of bombs lands on earth with thunderous booms that spell destruction of life and limb in that spot, the light of the rainbow lands on earth with a whispered blessing that is nowhere and everywhere.

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Remember the dead …

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Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.

In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:

A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …

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Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.

The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.

Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza

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