Our local Peace Education Center,
distressed by the recent violence in Gaza, we tried to offer something to address the killing, injury, destruction, and chaos that has been going on between Hamas and the Israeli military in recent weeks. We drafted a statement on the siege of Gaza which we put on our website, sent out to local media and supporters. In it we affirm the calls coming from many Israelis,
Nobel Peace Laureates,
and others concerned with the escalation of violence in that troubled region, pleading for a cessation.
We fully realize that this little action will not impact the immediate situation on the ground there today. We are not in control of the decision-makers on any side. But can we just stay silent? Friday, while I was attending the weekly peace vigil held at the state capitol, we were joined by a Palestinian mother and her two children. Members of her family in Ramallah (West Bank) had been shot with rubber bullets the day before at a rally protesting the Israeli offensive in Gaza. They were sore but ok she said. But her voice quivered in relating the experience.
I have read in the past few days several potent pieces that offer some glimpse of possibility out of this mayhem in which so many are suffering and so much wasted resources are being expended. These are not the kinds of things you will hear the typical pundits, politicians, or political analysts share. But they are powerful possibilities that should be more widely shared, reflected on, and discussed. Perhaps even attempted with more rigor than has been shown to date. Otherwise, we'll be reviewing this depressing scene over and over in the months and years ahead.
As Einstein noted, the definition of insanity is the repeating of the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome. War and violence only breeds more of the same. Time for something new.
Please check out:
Tom Atlee "Enhancing the Lives of Both Palestinians and Israelis"
"The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is reaching another
volcanic peak. Perhaps the biggest tragedy is the painfully familiar
sense that it is all so unnecessary. Here and there I find commentators
who offer insightful new directions and people on the ground working to
make a positive difference. I share some of these points of light and
then ask about the larger shifts needed if we wish to co-create
flourishing lives together instead of collective tragedies..."
Charles Eisenstein "A Restorative Response to MH 17"
"Aren’t they awful? Aren’t they appalling? How could they? They must
be monstrous, evil, inhuman. The only way to deal with such people is to
stand up to them, destroy them, send them a message, take a stand,
deter them, show them it isn’t acceptable, hold them to account. Any
other response is soft, weak, naïve.
How many times have we heard this narrative repeated? A horrible
event occurs: the downing of a jetliner, the murder of three Israeli
teenagers, the destruction of the twin towers, gas attacks in Syria… and
immediately the press and political classes pump up the narrative that
whoever committed this atrocity did so because they are bad people – bad
people who implicate a whole class of bad people that must be overcome