Monday, July 17, 2006

War and Peace in the Middle East (from Tikkun)

Received via e-mail from our local group, Faith Communities Uniting for Peace...

The people of the Middle East are suffering again as militarists on all sides, and cheerleading journalists, send forth missiles, bombs and endless words of self-justification for yet another pointless round of violence between Israel and her neighbors. For those of us who care deeply about human suffering, this most recent episode in irrationality evokes tears of sadness, incredulity at the lack of empathy on all sides, anger at how little anyone seems to have learned from the past, and moments of despair as we once again see the religious and democratic ideals subordinated to the cynical realism of militarism. Meanwhile, the partisans on each side, content to ignore the humanity of “the Other,” rush to assure their constituencies that the enemy is always to blame. Each such effort is pointless. We have a struggle that has been going on for over a hundred years. Who tosses the latest match into the tinder box matters little. What matters is how to repair the situation. The blame game only succeeds in diverting attention from that central issue. Within the context of blame, there’s enough to go around. It all depends on where you start the story.
More here. Similar sentiments are very well expressed in the Kos diary by poemless, I don't care why.

There is a neighborhood in Chicago called Rogers Park. Walk down streets like Devon Avenue and you won't hear any English spoken. You will hear Russian, Urdu, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic... You'll see mosques and temples and churches. It is the most vibrant neighborhood in the city, and Jews live next door to Palestinians who live across the street from Pakistanis whose children play with Hindus. These are not well-off, highly educated, totally assimilated people. They are mostly just off the proverbial boat. But they seem to realize they are all in it together. People from all over come to study this neighborhood because it defies all the laws of the universe. People. Getting along.


We've all been wronged.

We've all had loved ones ripped from our lives.

We'd all like to live wherever we want to.

We all want to live without worrying about being bombed.

We all have a loved one who has endured genocide, racism or oppression.

We all believe we are right.

Those of us who believe that our being right gives us permission to sacrifice another person's child are evil.

End of story. Don't care where you live, where you worship, what happened to your people a 100 years ago. I Don't Care. I don't have any interest in your grievances.

We all have choices in life. We can educate, or promote ignorance. Reach out, or build walls. Live together or annihilate. Accept humility or prove our might. Be decent or be ugly.

~Anyone who tells you they have no choice but to drop a bomb is lying to you.

~Anyone who tells you god wants them to have your home is lying to you.

~Anyone who tells you they are incapable of living with someone of a certain race or religion is lying to you.

~Anyone who tells you that the only path to peace is war is lying to you.

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