Monday, October 9, 2023

Getting at the roots

The Hamass invasion of Israel has the world upset that those dastardly "terrorists" dared to do something so outrageous.  Such violence is outrageous.  It has sparked a strong reaction from Israel and its allies.

 From my view it seems like we are in another perpetual cycle of violence to solve problems that could have been solved more peacefully.  The most important questions are what are the roots of the problem and what can we do now?

I am not a Biblical scholar, but I remember something about Moses leading the Jews to the promised land.  If  I am not mistaken there were people there as they were certainly there by the time of Jesus.  We read references to Caananites and Samaritans.  At one point the Romans had something to do with a  dispersal of  Jews.  A century or two later there was a Muslim revolution that affected what we call the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe.  A few centuries later the Nazis murdered over 6 million Jews and would have done more if they could have.  A few years before that some Arabs under T.E. Lawrence helped defeat the Germans.   Between these two wars many Jews tried to escape from Nazis and were rejected by many countries including the United States and Canada.  One of our Canadian leaders supposedly said that "No Jews were too many."

After these events in 1948 the United Nations declared Israel an independent country.  Arabs were given some rights and territories.  A lot of things happened between then and now, but somehow Israel prospered and the Palestinians lagged behind.  Poor leadership?  Bad luck?  Very complicated with other nations playing a role.

We can go back further.  Human nature.  Fear of strangers.  Strength is needed for survival.  Might is right.  We are better (and more deserving) than those.  We see ethnic conflict causing problems around the globe even as we have concerns for climate change, pandemics and the risks of nuclear war.

I don't have any solutions except the (perhaps unrealistic) faith that somehow reasonable people will gain enough power to impose their will.  Maybe that is not enough, perhaps we need people to respect the rights of others.  As it is, violence made not only of bullets and bombs, but also of legal restrictions and hate dominate the discussion.  This cycle of perpetual violence hurts everyone.  I regret that some felt efforts to address an imbalance in power required violence.

One man I greatly admire is Yuval Noah Harari and feel we would be better off if more people paid attention to his ideas.  Check

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