Sunday, March 31, 2013

Righting wrongs or not

Listening to the Israeli prime minister on the radio the other day speaking on how the Palestinians should get over stuff that happened in 1948 and in 1967 because they were in the past.
  Later on the conversation turned to the holocaust and it was obvious that for the Israeli's it is still a fresh wound.
   It seems to to me that it is human nature to think that the other party should get over it when one hurts somebody else,whether it is a grievous wound and it does not seem to matter if the injury was purposeful or accidental. huge or small.
   The other thing that I have noticed is that the sense of being an injured party seems to justify all kinds of horrible acts which are justified as self defense of even a simple "We are the good guys (or injured party ) so our actions are necessary or good or whatever.
   The US drone attacks are a good example of just such a thing. Because it is us it is good and we are justified. It seems to be a very rare ability to put oneself in another's shoes.  Can we even imagine if Putin bombed some anti-Russian terrorists in the Us? We would not care if it was justified or correct or anything it would be war.
 I believe that in my personal life I try to understand where another person is coming from and adjust my words and actions accordingly. It is a strange thing,but it seems that in my family this is considered weakness or admission of wrongdoing and  a justification for attack. I have become more angry and defensive because of this perception and I theorize that this is part of the dynamic of Netenyahu's attitude. If any person or group show remorse empathy or hesitation our international and some of my interpersonal experience is that it opens us up to attack. My admiration for the folks exemplified by such as Ghandi and MLK and others increases every time that I feel that fear based on personal experience that then engenders the desire or need to attack. Th preemptive strike if you will.  So if our personal North Korea is acting aggressively how do we react? Do we figuratively send a stealth bomber by to scare them into not attacking? Do we take the risk of asking questions and listening to the answers? It seems that in our personal lives as well as in the global life there is no choice because our opposite number is too scared,greedy angry or something and is trying to take from us or destroy us and there seems to be no way to change their mind. For a person like me that is often a paralyzing situation because I believe that once you go down the path of fear based violence you take the others choice away too. If I gamble that there may be a reasonable solution and reach out in kindness and the other person is already set on violence then I have made myself vulnerable and feel defenseless.
   So the Israeli's and Palestinians both completely vulnerable and both victims and perpetrators of atrocities towards each other and with the horror of the Holocaust hanging over them seem to have no way to put down the sword of fear and anger. How can the rest of the world help them? It seems that the US is killing innocents all over the world and saying that it is okay because we are the good guys and then asking thees two groups to do the opposite and it just does not seem like that would make sense to either side.
the old do as I sat not as I do. 

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