Thursday, May 15, 2008

a sad and embarrassing confession

Appeals to paranoia and fear of victimization are not just a Siren political song for Christians, Muslims and Republicans:(

I get an email from Israpundit every day or so. I rarely read them. I went to the site today to see whether the emails were typical of the content of that site. Turns out the content, and the ads, are a real embarrassment to peace seekers of either side and any religion. The site is devoid of religious content save as badge or label. Most of the moral teachings that are common to and, according to more enlightened religious people, central to the Abrahamic religions are no where in sight. Fear, justification of attacking in the present by recollection of being attacked in the past, denying the possibility of negotiated settlement...every weakness of the soul is called upon and enshrined as right thinking. I cannot detect any indication that this particular line of pro-Israel vehemence recognizes that the "other side" is in any way human. I admit that I do not follow all the ins and outs of Israel's neighboring Islamic countries. I know their Islam unites them more in western minds than in fact they are united. US support of Israel's existence and aquiescence to it expansion have begotten more unity among those Islamic neighbors than their native habits and undisturbed politics have ever produced..."the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an Arab proverb.

I am not unaware of the intransigence of some Palestinians in rejecting the establishment of a Jewish sate...but they are not the majority, just the better funded by outsiders. Bush is in Israel today, tarring Obama any way he can for suggesting negotiation with Iran is preferable to bombing it. The attitude taken by fans and writers of Israpundit, like the dimwitted schemes to which Bush has subscribed, positively guarantee a future of war. It was neoconservative war and oil lust that strengthened the hand of Iranians by making a basket case of their former nemesis, Iraq. Iran's new boldness to prop up antagonists of Israel is a further complication of an impasse that already drove dispossessed Palestinians to murder. How many more years of trading corpses before we admit the ways of the past and present are not working?

Bush is harping on "terror" to the Israelis. Responding to acts of terror by becoming polarized and retreating to stereotyped thinking is exactly the result a terrorist hopes for. When do we stop capitulating on that level that a Bush does not even understand? Certainly not at Israpundit.

As I type this, Ms Greensmile is downstairs with a small committee of my fellow congregants who are struggling to come up with a way to start useful dialog within the congregation: The mess of Israeli/Palestinian permanent war is so painful and brings up intra- and interpersonal conflicts so readily that there have been decades of numb silence or fainthearted and carefully hedged lip service on support for Israel in many reform and maybe even some conservative synagogues. It is a touchy and so much more complex a situation than it behooves politicians like Bush to spell out. So Israpundit thinks it is speaking for more of us than is really the case. They embarrass me.

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