“We must think differently, look at things in a different way.
Peace requires a world of new concepts, new definitions.”
Two painfully poignant articles came across my email box indicating the resentment Palestinians have towards President Abbas for participating in a peace conference in Israel amidst the war with Hamas in Gaza, and Hamas’s fury that Abbas has not done more to support them.
It is true that Abbas is stuck in between, and weakened by, violent extremism on both sides – from the kidnapping and murder of there Israeli teenagers, to the live burning of the Palestinian teenager in Shuafat – and that he can exert little influence on, or neutralize, either the extremists from Hamas or the extremist Israelis from Habait Hayehudi who fan the flames of hatred and seek to annex the West Bank.
But that is only part of the analysis. The true losers from all of this are ALL OF US. Every Israeli, Palestinian and international citizen is worse off, whether they realize it (as moderates do) or they don’t (as some extremists may think).
This is a wake up call to all of us.
These articles provide further proof – as if any was actually needed- to the Jews and Israelis and Westerners who have been brainwashed to think that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an extremist (!) or a ‘terrorist’ (!) by hateful edicts from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, to even Netanyahu on some occasions – that President Abbas is the strongest partner for peace and non-violent means to achieve it, equal in those values and temperament to President Shimon Peres, as the departing statesman has said himself.
And unless moderates on all sides stand up to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and buttress the heroic moderate leaders who show strength in their courage and principled determination to pursue a two state solution through non violent means and through acknowledgment of the other, as Abbas has, and as Olmert had, and as Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog have courageously and selflessly and steadfastly done also, all of us will share the blame for the Balkanization and Lebanonization of the Holy Land.
Time we wake up and mobilize.
Dr. Seuss gave the following commencement address at Lake Forest College Lake Forest, Illinois on June 4, 1977. Bob Bernstein recently shared this with me as generally good advice for life.
My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers
My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant’s bill of fare.
And, when they were served,
he regarded them
with a penetrating stare
Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
“To eat these things,”
said my uncle,
“you must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what’s solid
you must spit out the air!”
as you partake of the world’s bill of fare,
that’s darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow.
This article from David Horovitz is worth reading to remind us of the essence of the problem with Hamas. Horovitz has written equally compelling articles highlighting why President Abbas is heroic and worthy of support by the International community, and that it is a travesty that Netanyahu has weakened Abbas and strengthened Hamas. This article – and Horovitz – does not condone the occupation. That must end and Palestinians deserve a State with freedom, equality and mutual respect and recognition with Israel. But none of that would quell Hamas’s thirst to destroy all of Israel.
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” -Dalai Lama
“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” — Frank Outlaw
This piece about Shimon Peres made me shed many tears – what a historic and beautiful figure.
My sister shared this excerpt that I found deeply introspective and insightful, on the sensory varieties of pain.
“And at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
And if you are very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for life.
Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it.”
— Jim Butcher, White Night