This post will consist of at least one further dialog elicited by my initial post which compared the Sandy Hook school shooting of late 2012 with the continuing Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip. I encourage others to join the dialog.
I was disappointed, but not surprised when you published a text with the title,” The Slaughter of the Innocents: the Sandy Hook school shooting & the Gaza Strip”. Your pro-Palestinian bias was already pretty evident in your messages. However, this title, and more especially your defense of it in your dialogue with “Mr. H” of it reveals your position on another level.
As peacemakers, we are called upon to be aware of the suffering of both sides and live a life that evinces compassion for all. One can criticize the behavior, motivations, and goals of either party in a conflict without betraying ones commitment as an advocate of peace. From my acquaintance with your message, you have been doing that, although from a clearly biased one sided perspective.
The conflict in Palestine has been an endless litany of war, blame, and recrimination for the last 64 years. Anyone who is even casually listening to the politics or witnessing the armed conflicts of that region is completely and painfully aware of the grievances of all sides and the injustices and inhumanity exhibited by all parties.
A witness that merely restates over and over again the rational behind the blame for these horrific events is simply adding to what has become uninformative, numbing, drone. It is a pointless witness that offers no benefit. To be sure, we need to continue to hear about the events, but we have been past the need for more twisted histories and justifications for those events for a long time.
What we are all hungry for is a witness to the efforts towards reconciliation and forgiveness. That witness, that voice exists, but it is very hard to hear. It is hard to hear partly because there are so few publishing that message and so very many publishing their understandable outrage. That voice of rage dominates the media and the noise drowns the testimony those few offering another way,
Unfortunately, you personally have left behind even that dubious witness with you recent article. When you chose to demonize the Israelis, you departed from the ranks of peacemakers. In your justification of what I had hoped was just an intemperate remark, you clearly joined the ranks of provocateurs. You moved beyond being yet another witness with a particular position to being an active contributor to the environment of rage that is at the root of this tragic history.
My hope is that you will find a way to move back from that destructive position. I don’t know what kind of effort on your part that would take. Perhaps you could spend some time seriously looking a the sad lives of the Israeli settlers. After all, they live in a prison too.
In the meantime, you and all the other combatants and victims in this tragic and unnecessary struggle will be in my prayers.
Member, Berkeley Friends Church