The letter to the editor below was seven years ago. The recent lethal outbreak between Hamas in Gaza and Israel sustain the point of the letter. If a clearer and truer view of the perennial world threatening conflict between the Arab people and Israel is not found, there is little hope of a peaceful world. This conflict serves as a model of either world destruction or world hope in our day.
|Hezbollah and Israel Cross Blame For The Slaughter..Nov 2005|
Here We Go Again.* The world is rightly anxious as Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon raise the stakes of war. As one listens to the news and to President Bush the focus is only on what has happened in recent days as the explanation for present violence. President Bush forcefully states that the, "easiest way for there to be peace is for Hezbollah to lay down its arms". His logic, and that of most American voices including the media, is centered squarely on the recent( It’s always the latest outbreak that gets attention.) events: Hezbollah’s kidnapping of several Israeli soldiers and its initial terrorist rocket attacks followed by Israel’s response. President Bush , more than any other world leader, goes out of his way to state clearly that the USA is more on the side of and understanding of Israel compared to any of the Islam countries or groups involved.
|Arab Youth Joins Hamas In Hate of Jews... Nov 2012|
When will the big powers, especially ourselves, take the long view and serious look at the dynamics that underlie every flare up of violence between Israel and Arab countries? Until those ongoing dynamics that effect justice and fairness are taken seriously, by the rules of basic human psychology and sociology, such episodes have to keep happening. Each event also threatens to draw others into the violence where brave soldiers and innocent victims are the immediate ones to lose.
A pivotal point in that long range view is when world powers did what was right and necessary to give Israel(one side of this ancient conflict) its own homeland in 1946 and started demonstrating its interest in Jewish well being and security. This was partially by arming them and giving unprecedented amounts of continuing financial aid. Then nor since has a comparable effort been demonstrated showing equal concern and support for the same human and national needs that Arab/Islam people also have. With that dynamic reinforced every time there is trouble in the area, the experience of injustice and the message of being less of a people festers even at an unconscious level in the Arab mind. Such a dynamic assures the psychological and religious result that someone from the discredited side will play the part of hateful avenger. Whatever group that happens to be, presently it is Hezbollah, we will call them terrorists which is what they are. But that kind of reaction, that in a sense is in behalf of the whole Arab world, is destined to reoccur again and again. We let ourselves think things are OK during extended periods of little terrorist activity. Those are the days when we should be thinking, acting, and communicating with both sides of the conflict and building an authentic framework of fairness and justice.
|These Maps Make Clear The Palestinian View Point Of Justice Denied Since 1947.|
If only there could be a moral, psychological and spiritual awareness of the motivating power of these historic dynamics by an American leadership! That new perception would lead to very different analysis, words and actions; ones that are in tune with this enlightened perception could emerge that would break this deadly cycle and likely win global support. The world would experience a refreshing wave of truthfulness, authenticity and desire for justice for all. That collective experience alone is what can diminish hate and the soil from which terrorism comes. I wish many people could see this as what to long for, work toward and to pray for. Jim Hibbett
* The reader may be interested in this post also.
* The reader may be interested in this post also.
- Francie Davidson Staggs You're right. I want to point out also that the history of the Israeli-Palestine conflict has its roots in the late 19th century, turned violent in 1920 and as you noted continues to the present day. I compiled a report stating that the conflict actually started in Old Testament times between Abraham's sons Isaac and Ishmael and their descendants.
- Jim Hibbett That is right. It is important that today anyone who would intervene in the conflict, like we and others have, to be fully fair and even handed to both parties. I dont think the record shows that to be the case. My guess this partly comes from the Biblical notion of Israel being God's chosen, so to this day Christians are pron to not approach both of Abraham's sons equally. This is the same mistake the Bible story says that Abraham made, sending the Hagar and Ishmael away to be alone in the wilderness. But God came and honored Ishmael with a blessing just as with Isaac. That is what this situation still requires if there is to be an actual godly approach to both.
- Francie Davidson Staggs I had forgotten about God blessing Ishmael and his descendants. If I recall, in the Quaran we can find that Muslims aren't to have anything to do with Christians and Jews. We hear that the Muslim world calls us "infidels." Would making everything equal and just between Israel and the Arab world change the course of history? I can understand the concern both with Israel and the United States with what is going on in the Middle East. If we give Palestinians equality and fairness and justice with Israel, will that make them like and respect us? I understand the Godly approach that we should take in the matter. But, I also know that taking the Godly approach with a group who dislikes Israel and the U.S. could turn on us in a violent way. Perhaps as a nation, we should start with being just with Native Americans. We took their land away from them. Survival of the fittest! And, as for me, I do want Israel and the United States to survive!!!
- Jim Hibbett To be in touch with the richer message of Christ we would expect to require a far greater trust(faith) in humanity than we would ever arrive at just from our own human observations and self interest. I think the observations made in this discussion of Israel, Palestinians and native Americans demand us to examine ourselves as a nation and be able to see honestly our own shadow in our dealings with others. And to not rationalize that wrong historical choices do not bring certain unwelcome consequences. This is the first step to any more far reaching application of the what the New Testament has Jesus call the 'gospel.' Jesus even says at the deepest level and where the gospel would have it greatest transforming effect a 'dying to self' as we see it is necessary in order that something more splendid might be created. (This is more often a spiritual/psychological death than physical.) This is the nature of 'trust'(faith) described in the original Jesus gospels. Is the world now needing such a trust to be realized by someone(s)? If so , who will it be? What is the cost in our world today if such trust is not born in some human hearts? I doubt any of us can confidently say, 'yes I have such trust.' Did ones like A.Lincoln and Martin Luther King possibly demonstrate such world changing and correcting trust in their moment of history? To acknowledge the world's need and our own, and our forebears, serious imperfections must surely be a correct step in the right direction for finding the capacity to make trusting and world-changing choices. I think this is the nature of what confronts us regarding the Israel-Palestinian Threat to themselves and the world.