BERLIN IN GAZA
At a certain point in every Israeli war fighting the Holocaust, there is a moment when the superior fire power merely rearranges the rubble of Berlin. Then depression sets in, reality sets in. You can’t bomb your way to safety, Hitler is still dead, there is still no peace, for this enemy can only be beaten with reconciliation not obliteration. Then they turn to us again, too proud to ask, we impoverished, bloodied, no resources, except our wounded open hearts.
MEN AT WAR
Men at war above all cannot abide their own impotence, and so they smash everything and everyone insight as a distraction.
MOTHER OF LIFE
Most important person in Jewish history? Not Abraham, not Moses. Beruriah. Hate the sin, not the sinner, hate the ideology not the ideologue, wish that crimes cease from this earth, not criminals.
The only path to life from Jewish …
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.
(Photo source: Belfast Telegraph)…
Antizionism is not antisemitism, for the simple reason that tens of thousands of identified Jews, secular or religious, are avowed antizionists. At the same time, antizionism has not done a goddam thing for the grievances of millions of Palestinians against millions of Zionists who run a successful country and who are going nowhere.
I am sick and tired of “anti” philosophies while children are dying needlessly. Someone tell me how to save the children of the whole Middle East, and keep the “anti’s” out of the conversation.
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 …
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 …
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 …
“We Shall Overcome Because the Arc of the Moral Universe is Long; But It Bends tward Justice.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
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 …
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 …
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
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 …