Jul 272014

So much has happened this week in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, or more properly, Judaic and Islamic influence in the area. So many have commented, it seems like everyone around this conflict has gotten spun up into their polarization. It’s painful for me to watch. The pain is in the polarization, the finger pointing, the images of death and destruction. You are wrong, no, YOU are wrong. I will spare you the details, which you can swim in through the media.

This conflict has been going on for more than two millennia, back and forth. It was a Judaic region before Islam and Christianity were born, and something else before that. And so, like so many of the parts of our world where civilization has deep roots (Tigris and Euphrates valley, aka Iraq)…history provides many claims to the turf. But it’s more intense since 1945 (or perhaps that’s the media?) Watch the epic movie “Exodus”, and it seems so logical that the Jews would flood back there after millions were killed during the 1940’s (not to mention pogroms in Russia, Poland and Germany for centuries before that). Read James Michener’s fabulous book, “The Source”, and the flow back and forth through the middle ages and the Ottoman Empire makes more sense, and has depth. Oddly, this book, which was written some 50 years ago, offers hope that Arab and Jew, Palestinian — Sephardim — Ashkenaz might co-exist well. After all, they all love the land. It also documents how the resident Palestinians vacated what is now Israel in 1947, as Egyptian and other Arabic forces tried to dispel the new Jewish state. Jews were fleeing Arabic lands too. Then there was the Six-Day War in 1967. I’m old enough to remember some of the savage things the PLO did. In some ways, they invented terrorism.

I find it fascinating that some liberal friends and media (and I am quite liberal) seem to think the Israelis are the bad guys. There are no good guys here, this particular round of violence was kicked off when three Israelis were murdered. It doesn’t make any difference if it was Hamas or rogues or a new secret organization that did it.

There have been some times when the two (or three or perhaps four) sides have been close to peace. But no, the hatred is ugly and fueled by testosterone. Missiles, tunnels, fighter-bomber missions, the iron shield. Fake posts about joyfully killing children. So much suffering, so much poisonous negative karma. Even Yassar Arafat came to the peace table. You want some insight? Read about Moshe Dayan. Testosterone takes us into war, and into initiation. This is a man who had more reason than most to polarize, yet found room in his heart for co-existence.

So now more than a thousand people are dead, mostly Palestinians. Two militarized societies, pounding away at each other. Thank god we reincarnate. How else can we learn that this is the source of our pain?

  2 Responses to “another comment on the mideast”

  1. In my opinion, the Israelis are the bad guys, that doesn’t mean that Hamas are good guys, they probably aren’t. But I have a question, Tom; what should the Palestinians do? I don’t mean that facetiously or rhetorically. Their homes are being taken away and their orchards destroyed, many of them have been rounded up and put in a ghetto, they have been a people without rights for well over half a century, What do you think they should do that would improve their world? Our world?

  2. The internet is a winding road that leads one on interesting and odd journeys. I live in Ontario but had never heard of Port Loring until this morning when a very close friend of mine said he was going there to investigate the cause of a fire on an island. He is a forensic engineer and that is the type of work he does. So, being of a curious nature, I googled Port Loring and saw where it is located and then looked at images, and out of the hundreds of images on the google page, I clicked on one, a man and a woman. And your story popped up as the backstory to the picture of your wedding. I’m so sorry you lost your wife. And then I clicked on your blog page and read your blog about taking her ashes back to Port Loring, and the blog about the Middle East conflict. I lived in Israel in the 70’s for about 5 years, I made aliyah (immigrated) there from the country of my birth, South Africa. So, even though I was there for only 5 years I have a deep connection to Israel. I am filled with sadness at the situation there, it is a very complex situation, and pointing fingers and playing the blame game has only made the situation go from bad to worse. The most ironic thing is that my friend, the forensic engineer that I referred to who went today to Port Loring, was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian parents. And we are the very best friends in the world, he a Canadian/Palestinian Christian and I, born in South African to Jewish parents, but in essence I am a hard core atheist, living in Canada the last 32 years and I consider my Palestinian friend to be my closest friend in the whole world. How wonderful it would be if more people in the middle east had friends from the opposing camp, close or not, just friends would be good enough to start off with. I wish you strength on your journey to return your loved one’s ashes to the place she loved and continued strength in your life’s journey. Best wishes to you, Teresa.

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