Israel-Palestine Follow-up, etc.

No new article this week, as I’m off to visit my son at college in the midwest for a couple of days.. New article next week–possibly on the pluses and minuses of being a vampire (and I know you’re hoping there’s more to the article than the title implies… There is.) This is inspired by watching, yet again, the DVD of Francis Ford Coppola’s: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)–a great piece of entertainment!

I received a great deal of response to my article on Israel/Palestine and I wanted to add just one more thought-feeling-opinion to the article. Some of this is inspired by a couple of the more thoughtful responses I got, some of it by the interview I did on my radio show just this past Sunday with Phyliss Chesler (re: her book: The New Anti-Semitism)… And, some of it is just my own point of view–which I have expressed before–and didn’t this time around…

In my article I included some of the history (as I interpreted it) and then wound up with some “solutions”–as if, in a fanstasy, someone had made me sole arbiter of the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians… The solutions were based on the real, current, urgent needs (as I see them) of the two warring sides.

What I didn’t address was the “Ideal”–so to speak–the transcendent and ultimate approach to a lasting peace. And that is, simply, that the ancient and dead-end tribalism of both sides is, to me, a kind of collective immaturity that needs to be dealt with patiently and over a great deal of time. The same way, not to be condescending, that small children are dealt with by loving parents to help them adjust to the complex rigors of society.

First you set up, literally and figuratively, boundaries (in this case two clearly delineated states), and basic rules of conduct; perhaps, in the beginning, enforced by a “parent” (the UN?) Then, over time, you teach people on both sides that history (and special identities and needs) can be cherished and honored by that they can also become an obstacle to growth and an excuse to keep from experiencing the pain of growth. The most adamant and violent people in the Middle-East (just as in any organization or even family group) are the ones who refuse to grow up–to adjust to the reality of OTHER PEOPLE…

The Buddhists (whose religion–in general– appeals to me more than any other; especially those of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) insist (as much as insistence is even a part of their ethic) that we should all try not to see things as black or white, good or bad, (Jewish or Palistinian). In other words, it is the eternal insistence on dualism, opposition, and contradiction that freezes evolution and causes conflict.

Obviously, the god that Christians and Jews and Muslims pray to is the SAME god– and calling him/her (another dualism) Jehovah, or God, or Allah, is merely semantics. And, as all these religions and religious leaders insist, if we are all God’s children, then stealing from and killing each other is nothing less than civil war–murder within a family…

Unfortunately, the people that truly see this vision and try to put it into realistic effect are often turned on and murdered by the people (almost all the people) they are trying to help. Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King– what fools, right? They insisted that ALL people are equal, no matter what their out differences. And by isisting on that ideal (and real practice), they were murdered by a world that insists that all individuals (and groups, and religions, and countrys)are “Special”–are “better”, are even, in some way, essentially different and that this difference should be honored above all things; Even, apparently, peace and life itself….

Just a note before I trek off to the Mid-West and see my Son…

Mike

– Mike Feder (New York City – October 15, 2003)

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