Gaza

Reflecting on “Dancing”

by mgopin on September 7, 2014 · 2 comments

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I wrote this during the Gaza war. I think the theme of dance is very important, post-quantum physics way to understand the complex interaction of enemies, how they build on each other, and what it must teach us in reverse. I am amazed at how much of a dance enemies have, how much they depend on each other’s worst behaviors. We know this scientifically but it is hard to internalize as a definition of fluid reality. All our debates are as if enemies are fixed entities not evolving with each other. We warriors for peace still do not know how to really counteract that. We have tried the arts, we have tried tourism, we have tried commerce, but the dance of death is more frightening and compelling to the masses. Why did the young generation succeed in the 1960’s to create a real alternative that attracted the masses, but

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I recently wrote a cover article reflecting on the recent war in Gaza to the newsletter published by School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Practice is a messy, miserable reality that deserves its own independent study. What do we do in times of war? This has dramatically changed for me and many others in just the last year or two, where every war seems to be bringing individuals together online to a level of intimacy, collaboration, and care unprecedented, and others to a level of hatred unprecedented. Then there are shades of gray, where how you frame your disagreements, your texts, your cries, your screams, your pleas, your ruminations in the dead of night, all of it yields surprising communications across enemy lines, in all of the many and variegated enemy systems that overlap in international conflicts. A string of people from one side of the conflict becoming the only

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Ideology and Tyranny / Mourning the Past

by mgopin on August 5, 2014 · 3 comments

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candles

IDEOLOGY AND TYRANNY 

Ideology is always in the service of a power that becomes tyranny. Followers do not see it coming, as they are too busy defeating the first tyranny.

Political Islam and Military Islam are dying a rapid death on the streets of Mosul that is reverberating everywhere, but they will revive in each and every place where tyranny and oppression reign. That includes the West Bank and Gaza.

MOURNING THE PAST

It is better to deny the past in fear and embrace the present with courage than it is to embrace the past with courage and deny the present in fear. Better than both is embracing the past and the present with courage and generosity.

 

(Photo source: Wallcoo.net)…

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FB Friending Analysis

by mgopin on August 5, 2014 · 8 comments

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facebook-friends-icon

Interesting, in the hotness of the Gaza war attention (while thousands suffer and die anonymously nearby in Syria and Iraq, for example), it is interesting to watch the evolution of thinking day to day under a microscope. I find myself to be a magnet for positive rational thinking these days in terms of FB friending patterns, not that I necessarily deserve that. I am impressed at the number of people seeking to friend me in recent days who trust neither Hamas nor Israel to protect the people of Palestine or build a better future, and putting lots of thought on which parties could do this. This is a good direction of thought. One theme emerging is that very few people are buying the idea that Israel has at this point a decent plan for the future, but also, one man, one vote one time of political Islam and military …

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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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There are important next steps being debated for what states can and should do to stop the current war, and set the stage for ending the current cycle of violence. That is not my subject. I thought recently that leaders are followers and followers are leaders, and neither knows it. The fact is that people and their individual initiatives have much more impact on the course of history than is acknowledged by government officials, by cynics, and by those too apathetic, too callous, or too fearful to act. If you are in that category, do not read forward. Just go back to Al Jazeera, Fox and CNN and choose a side. Or go back to Jon Stewart and have a good laugh.

Here is what is necessary, efforts that have worked before in history in changing the available information available to all parties so that more rational and more morally …

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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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Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness- MLKMartin Luther King Jr.

 

Let me share Larry Derfner’s latest article;

Larry Derfner, Blame Israel and Hamas both for Gaza’s civilian deaths (July 11, 2014)

Larry gets it perfectly, as more and better information emerges. A curse on both approaches to military solutions and killing. Mostly on both sides, the war crime result is from the political leaders not so much the military leaders. this is the emerging pattern from the USA to Russia as well. We have a global situation emerging of enormous firepower, ultimately in the hands of civilians who stay in power by showing a given constituency that they can be bastards to an enemy, whether that enemy is Hamas, Ukraine, or whoever. That means that we the people who give rise to such civilians bear the burden of responsibility for such male bravado in those leaders ignore all other means of problem solving. We are …

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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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The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of war, the mutual recriminations of the present, the painful memories of a lost past, and the unreasonable fantasies of a world where one’s enemies magically disappear. Sometimes the way forward is to free the mind to build a different world, a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved.

Let’s imagine the following: a full peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, a shared civil regime for the quarter mile of the Holy Basin in the Old City of Jerusalem that is overseen by Israeli and Palestinian Jews, Muslims and Christians, and a way for every Palestinian refugee camp’s residents to be awarded citizenship and compensation in a variety of countries including Palestine itself.

The first …

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