Jan 13, 2009

Gaza Continued

How do we hold in our hearts and minds the reality that is Gaza, the terrible crimes of Operation Cast Lead? If we aspire to follow the teachings of the Buddha the starting point, and ending point, must be the maxim, "Hatred is not overcome by hatred. Hatred is only overcome by love, that is a law eternal, spoken by all the Buddhas" (Dhammapada)

It does not help anyone to view the indisputable war crimes of the IDF and to fall into anger and ill-will. Tribalism is the problem here, and reflecting back with anti-Jewish tribalism, as the poster "anonymous" has here is to take the poison into our own being.

The path of peace is not a path of surrender or weakness. Look again at the Palestinian woman in the video, facing off the soldier. There is no hatred in her voice or her demeanour. She is making an honest attempt to confront the soldier at a human level. Yes, the soldier still fired his rifle but I think you can see a moment of doubt there. She may not have broken down his tribal mind-set, but she made a crack in it.

There are many points of conflict in the world; economic struggle for precious land and resources underlie most of them, and the blind ignorance of a tribal "us vs. them" mentality fuels the hearts of the combatants. We need to wake up from these nightmares and face our common humanity together.

The Middle East conflict is only one among many, but it commands our attention for all kinds of reasons; strategic, economic, historical, religious and cultural. Emotions run high and it is very difficult to keep a rational discussion going. Look around the internet and see how many comments fall into the mirror-image camps of the tribalists. One side denounces the "greedy murderous Zionists" and the other decries the "brutal terrorist fanatics." In reality, two groups of scared, ignorant humans just like the rest of us.

To think rationally about the problem is hard. We need to step back from all extremes and try and understand Israel and Palestine objectively. Maybe I might have an edge here, as a Buddhist I don't have a pony in the race between the competing deities.

The first thing that needs to be said is that in the broad picture, Israel is the oppressor. Israel has taken most of the Palestinian land and imposed a very harsh apartheid regime on the occupied territories. The settlements, more accurately colonies, in the West Bank are an intolerable violation of international law. So is the policy of collective punishment which resulted in the starvation blockade of Gaza.

Thinking historically, it seems to me that Israel represents an anachronism; a survival of nineteenth century colonialism into the twenty-first century. The closest historical analogy to the Israel treatment of the Palestinians is the way the Americans treated the natives. The Zionist movement grew up in an age of colonialism. What France did to Algeria, and Britain to Rhodesia, made the Zionist project respectable among nations. This behaviour is no longer tolerable.

There can be no peace in the Middle East without a just settlement for the Palestinians. How this can be accomplished is very hard to say, but it is certainly not to be found in check-points, apartheid walls and punitive campaigns. For a few years it looked like a two-state solution, essentially a reprise of the 1947 UN plan, was a viable option. But, foolishly perhaps, Israel has made that nearly impossible by stepping up the pace of colonization, leaving the Palestinians no room for a viable state.

Tariq Ali writing in the Guardian makes the case for the one-state solution; one state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan with all citizens equal regardless of ethnicity. This would not be easy either with the legacy of bitterness on both sides. It would be the end of the Jewish state but perhaps that is a good thing. States based on a single ethnic identity are a legacy of the past and a perpetuator of the tribal insanity. Who knows, given a generation or two perhaps the Jews and the Arabs could learn to live together and produce something new and valuable for the world.

I honestly don't know what the answer is, except that it is not to be found in piling up more bodies. If I could advise the Israeli leadership I would suggest that they open negotiations with all relevant parties on the other side, including Hamas, and begin by admitting the historical wrongs they have committed and asking in all humility for suggestions as to how to make things right. Start by recognizing that they will have to give some things up; land and money for starters, and perhaps even an exclusive Jewish state.

I have been critical of Israel here, mostly because in the big picture they are in the wrong, but it should be said in all fairness that the tribal stupidity is found on the other side as well. The Hamas tactic of firing rockets into Sederot is an example. These rockets have no value whatsoever towards the legitimate goals of the Palestinian people; they will not get them neither land nor peace. Even from a cynical military point of view they are useless, gnats biting on an elephant. The only motivation seems to be simple revenge.

If I could advise the Palestinian leadership I would say you need more people like the heroine in the video. Imagine tens of thousands of her, calmly facing down the Israeli guns and tanks, perhaps sitting down en masse and blocking the Jewish-only apartheid roads in the West Bank. This would take more courage than throwing rocks.

To paraphrase an old joke; if only the Jews and the Arabs could settle their differences like good Buddhists.



In general I do not like censorship and am happy to leave up comments with which I disagree. However, I think "anonymous" has crossed the line by promoting racism and violence. Those comments have been deleted.

Please feel free to disagree or agree for that matter, and to take any side. But please find someplace else to post hatred directed against any ethnic group.


That Guy said...

I do agree that both sides need to do something with themselves. I think it will not work by help from outside (US, EU, UN), but only by a genuine internal process of healing. An example might be what happened in south africa. Once one does not ask for "justice", justice occurs; justice that is not the result of forcing man made laws, but the natural arise of right actions from within.

However, such process needs to happen without "help" from outside, but only by the will of all sides to heal.

So it might take sometime.

Unnikrishnan said...

Try reading this


anonymous said...

Dear Ajahn Punnadhammo, as it is your prerogative to delete posts I am cool with that. If you want to say that I am promoting, racism, hatred, and violence, then I am cool with that too. The interesting part being that in doing so you have become a liar.

You may also delete this post if you wish, as a copy is already on another blog.

Philip Kienholz said...

Israel and Others

There really is an underlying problem with Israel, discussion of which is likely to bring criticism of those who broach the topic.

I live in an intensely multi-cultural part of Canada, the Northwest Territories. As an example, yesterday I worked with a sign manufacturer from southern Canada on entrance signage for a local building. The building has two front doors. One door leads to offices on two floors. Signage is needed for both doors to identify the occupants, and to direct the public to the other door if that is where their interest lies. The signage need to be in four languages, clear, and non-discriminatory. In fact, while using English as the linqua franca, or common language of business, the signage must also privilege the more threatened languages by placing them more prominently in the signage than the less-threatened non-English languages. The southern sign manufacturer had evidently not understood what it was getting into by taking the job, and requested extra payment because of their inability to get the signs right so that they work as intended. Redoing their work costs them more, but is needed so that elderly individuals who may not know English, can find their way, and also to assist in the preservation and vitality of endangered languages, thereby the cultures of which languages are a large part, and further thereby the sense of cultural identity, particularly for children, who are learning who they are. I do not know if Buddhists would see the development of cultural identity in children as psychologically healthy, but it would seem that to not do so would be problematic to their course in life, with rootlessness and alienation a consequence. At any rate my employer requires the signage follow these language principles irrespective of anyone’s thoughts about non-identity.

At other times and locations here in the Territories I have learned from those whose northern multi-cultural heritage predates European contact that speaking in mixed cultural company about those cultural differences is not usually advisable. It leads to overt consideration of grievances that would otherwise just be passed over by reasonable people. It stirs up any latent distrust of difference or desire to be with those of like mind that most people feel to some degree.

But with Israel, that good advice pertaining here in the north cannot be followed. By having seized the opportunity and initiative and having created a nation-state based on ethno-racial-religious privilege Jews have forced the world to bring thoughts that mix ethnicity, race, religion and politics into our forebrains, along with the lengthy cultural history of non-Jewish persecution of Jews, and the twentieth century European holocaust, and a small population surrounded geographically by many who may well be enemies. What a hairy kettle of fish this is! Maybe this is part of why the Israelis speak and act with such fury, to the point of appearing demonic. There is a country that could use Buddhism! For some respite from that mental agitation if for no other reason.

Discursive interlude: did you know the word “Dakotah” in its aboriginal context means enemy to enemies, and friend to friends? Or like, when you’re doing a collage and selecting images, and then find yourself going through the wastebasket for pieces of paper with images that you had already deselected, because you have found a need for that now-perfect discard!

Non-Israelis may never be able to understand Israeli morality, at least as it has manifested so far in their young national life. But in any event, I think it naïve and unfair for Jews and Israelis to immediately think non-Jews are anti-Semitic if we, in applying to Israel what are usually taken as universal moral tenets, or at least internationally agreed-upon norms of behaviour, and finding not only that Israel doesn’t meet them, but that the consideration has thrown us, as non-Jews, into undesirable moral, rational, and emotional turmoil also, stray from a true path….

So I wanted to say, “That Guy,” have a little tolerance for the discussion slipping over into what appears to be on the surface racist talk. Both of the participating cultures in the struggle are adamant in their embrace of what Buddhists would say is wrong speech and wrong action, including the harshest and most inhumane racist epithets and curses. I recall a Jewish dentist, while at work inside my mouth, reporting on his humanitarian trip to provide dental services in Israel, that Arabs were less than human. If Canada had more Arabic dentists, probably I could also have had the correlating opposite experience as well. And these examples are but minor among the range of moral transgressions on both sides extending to the outer limits of human depravity: torture, collective punishment, terrorism, and crimes against humanity that both sides perpetrate and endure. Would that we did not feel caught up at times in the angry and belligerent rhetoric while working to first calm it out in our own psyches, and then move beyond our own beings to assist, such as the young woman in the video clip who interposes her peace between war guns and targets.

An analysis of the statements of the contributor “anonymous” above, whom I take to be a single individual, and a further dispassionate look at what racism is may help.

The latter first. My dictionary starts with race: A family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock. A class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics. A category of humanity that shares certain distinctive physical traits.

Then moves on to racism: A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racial prejudice or discrimination.

So it seems we must start with biblical references to “chosen race” as implying an inherent superiority, and a thereby racism on the part of those who would make such claim. How, I ask the blog, is this resolved in Judaism, so that Gentiles can understand and not be condemnatory? Possibly it is linguistic entanglement that prompts this question—many first nations term themselves with the same word as for “people,” or “the people,” inferring their superiority to, or even non-humanity of, those of other groups.

This may be close to the root of the issue, so I guess I will not resolve it tonight! There will be sand foundations under a central part of this discussion. So what else is new--no one else has provided a route out of the middle-east quagmire yet, so why expect one here.

The movement from the concept of race, with its superficially taxonomic and behavioural divisions of humanity, to the misguided belief and close-mindedness of racism may also be close to the centre of the issue. How valid does recent scientific thinking find the notion of race? I had thought that I knew that of those characteristics that define humans, far more are in common than are divisive into sub-groups. But I may not know that, I no longer know. I would say that it seems reasonable to me that, at least in terms of everyday interactions and experience, humans are easily able to find common ground if they want to with those of other “backgrounds,” whether racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, or otherwise. The spark of understanding that leaps between minds need not be impeded by those differences. I would say again that, yes, race plays its part in our lives, but only when confused mind closes around race as a criterion of dualistic goodness, or as an actual structural division of humanity beyond superficiality does race warp into racism, with its disastrous results.

Having hewn out that mighty oak tablet of guiding insight, let’s move on to our colleague “anonymous” who speaks so freely in the concern of scruples. From a distance, his discourse is moral in its condemnation of killing, lying, and stealing, three of the four central tenets of Buddhism; he does not address sexual misconduct. But let’s look more closely and try to see what “That Guy” is objecting to in A.’s postings. My earlier reading of the blog, before Mr. Guy called me to task, was willing to overlook A.’s excesses and on balance, not raise an objection. This may have been due to a more libertarian approach generally in Canada’s North, and to the earlier-mentioned sense of letting sleeping dogs of racial difference lie. But closer examination may show a reason for a different tack.

In the post of 7 January, I find A. despairing, completely psychologically defeated by the Gaza massacre, and resorting to the old nuclear-bomb-in-every-backyard rhetoric that a reducto-ad-absurdum argument derived from the absurdity of the Cold War—more weapons will stop the inhumane treatment of people by people.

On 8 January, A. crosses over into racist thought and speech, by our definitions above, in saying Israeli government spokespersons appear, not as human beings, but as demons. Other observers have also been troubled by the intensity and apparent lack of common humanity of Israeli spokespersons and have written to criticize their words and attempt to understand their demeanor. But to say that a person is not human crosses a line
that when crossed, precludes compassion for the suffering of that person. When dehumanization starts, a slope only slippery with angry speech loses any stability one might have otherwise found within the intense emotion.

When A. raises the issue of the undue influence of the Israeli lobby on [national] politicians, a legitimate concern raised by many others of non-discriminatory bent, who are concerned with the functioning of a democracy potentially impeded by criminality, greed, and favouritism, A. is trapped in absolutist language so that in sum the statement reeks of racism without actually voicing it. When he further tries to address the restrictions against speaking freely caused by quick accusations of racial prejudice against those who criticize Israel, A.’s prejudice is emotional, and no longer below the surface.

I sense that A’s alienation is sufficient to cause bitter consideration of all social systems and institutions as purely evil. I defer to the German philosopher Karl Jaspers’ book, The Question of German Guilt, written as a series of lectures in 1945 to address the question of collective guilt felt by many Germans after WWII had ended, and applicable more generally to assess the responsibility of populations for actions of governments. It behooves us to consider such matters in days when charges of war crimes fly through the air of democratic nations. Jasper’s thoughts may not be completely germane but his rational discourse soon grounds us within the charged emotional mix that surrounds our topic.

“Criminal guilt belongs to those who violated the law (taken broadly to include the natural law and international if not the positive law in force at the time in one’s own country) and who have been convicted by a court with appropriate jurisdiction….”

Political guilt is ascribed to entire citizenries of modern states, which allow no one to be apolitical. Even voting is seen as participating so as to be co-responsible for the way one is governed.

Moral guilt is “the personal responsibility one bears before the tribunal of one’s own conscience for one’s own deeds—even for deciding to follow the orders one receives from one’s superiors,” [in a social hierarchy]. There is no way one can “judge another’s moral guilt.” One cannot, “pass over assessing one’s own genuine moral responsibility….”

Metaphysical guilt is “responsibility that survivors often feel toward those who suffered and died.” A “feeling of guilt that can encompass an otherwise innocent person in whose presence or with whose knowledge crimes were committed.”

Besides this typology of guilt, Jaspers speaks of the central ethical principle of being responsible only to the degree that one has taken part and acted, and that culpability requires voluntary consent or approval. Criminal guilt appears clear-cut and a matter for legal expertise. Moral and metaphysical guilt are essentially internal matters for individuals to determine only for their own beings.

Political guilt is the category where wider discussion is required. For example, if the Afghanistan war of the United States was started as a criminal act of the United States, how to evaluate Canadian politicians in their decision to enter the war in support of the U.S.? How to consider those Canadians who have supported the war-making politicians? And the news media of free-enterprise who have encouraged the population’s support? What is the political guilt of these parties? How is the discussion to proceed and evidence weighed if there is no public discussion of it, if the political parties and political process are controlled by large accumulations of capital, the interests of which may be seen by them to to served by militarism and war; and the federal report on Afghanistan does not touch on the true circumstances of the war’s inception.

Jaspers saw the populations of nation-states as politically responsible for the acts of their governments. But not anyone by dint of their race, religion, skin colour, gender, culture nor any of the other characteristics by which the human population is divided. The groups into which these characteristics divide us are insufficient to cause the collective guilt which the political association of a modern state may ascribe to us. A.’s final paragraph of 8 January is not so informed, but instead latent with hatred and racial prejudice, despite mouthing support of central Buddhist moral principles.

A. works the same row again twice on 11 January. There is no more need to analyze here what “anonymous” has to say.

anonymous said...

Well at least some one is prepared to speak (Phillip) without resorting to personal attacks. I readily accept criticism of my views, which I admit are usually not presented in the most thoughtful of ways, i.e. they tend to be direct.

To begin with racism, to be racist I would have to be against a whole ethnic group, and as I have previously mentioned the existence of decent Israelis and Jews, and even very nice people of this same ethnic group, then I could hardly be called racist if I criticize some or part of an ethnic group.

As for my interpretation of certain people being nonhuman, this is not restricted to Israelis, but is based upon a pure Asian Buddhist perspective that any being lacking basic morality is not a complete human, even though they may have a complete human form. I can easily understand that this interpretation would not be popular in the West, and easily misinterpreted as insulting or condemning, but it is simply based upon the original meaning of ‘human’ as being of a good mind. Obviously, this interpretation is somewhat limited to Asia, but it is quite commonly used by people who understand the original meaning of human. Given this understanding, it is only natural that such ‘non-humans’ are then considered demonic, as in the natural world, according to Buddhist culture, demons are one of the lower levels under humanity. It is not simply a hostile description, people can easily be instantaneously born as a demon depending upon the condition of their mind. I actually saw demons on the news, not human beings, even though they had human form. Needless to say, only demons could participate in such pointless destruction and lack of consideration for fellow human beings.

As for the use of liars, thieves, and murderers, I did actually give historical examples to back these accusations. Perhaps stealing, lying, and the killing of innocents would be softer, but it adds up to the same thing.

As for hatred, well I never even mentioned that I even dislike these crazy people. What would I do personally to these people if I had the opportunity? Absolutely nothing, I let people’s karma sort out the details, which I am well aware is usually just letting them go on their way until they meet someone as crazy as they are.

As for the usual Buddhist interpretations of what to do, metta, loving kindness. This is for people who have angry minds, or to be more precise, Buddhists who have anger problems. You cannot get Israelis or Palestinians to follow this route as they are not Buddhists. As for dialogue, well it has now been 60 years; I think that any realistic opportunities no longer exist.

Finally, back to the final solution. My own real concern in this issue is for the human beings, the ordinary people, the kids, and my view is that the Israelis must be stopped, as they will not listen to reason. Stopping does not necessarily mean killing or blowing up.

As for the three nuke theory I mentioned, this I got from one of my friends here who comes from Tel Aviv and his father is a Rabbi. He also used the expression ‘criminally insane’ for his fascist, fellow Israelis, whom he points out are so selfish and mentally sick you can hardly believe it (not forgetting that this whole affair is simply a build up to the elections) . Our common interest is that we share the same teacher so he also helps out when he visits. This is simply based upon cause and effect; keep on being an asshole for long enough and someone will either shoot you or blow you up. The Arabs worked out the three nuke theory around 50 years ago, and Joel heard of it from them. One goes north, one in Tel Aviv and one goes south. As for the large army, they are already recruiting jihadists in Indonesia and Pakistan for this very purpose. As for the other countries I have no idea, but as there are a lot of countries whose citizens would like to join this party then the final figure would be huge. I did not say that I agreed with anything, simply that such events are more likely to happen than not eventually.

While I can accept that my comments may not have been the clearest, I regret nothing I have said. As for promoting racism, hatred, and violence, I hardly think so.

Ben 8) said...

Philip, I'm reading 2260 words of spin.

Hmmm, "The term "Dakota" translates as "friends" or "allies". The Anishinabe (Ojibwe) referred to the Dakota in their tongue as "enemy". French traders used the last syllable of this term and labeled the Dakota; "Sioux". Today, they are known as both Dakota and Sioux. "


When reading the news of the Palestine area I think of branch Davidian.

"During the siege, the deprogrammer Rick Ross said, "[Koresh is] your stock cult leader. ... They're all the same. Meet one and you've met them all. They're deeply disturbed, have a borderline personality and lack any type of conscience. ... No one willingly enters into a relationship like this. ... So you're talking about deception and manipulation (by the leader), people being coached in ever so slight increments, pulled in deeper and deeper without knowing where it's going or seeing the total picture."


And I see the leaders of Both sides as "stock cult leaders." And the Israerli think of themselves as the fbi. How close to World War 3 do You think we are?

Philip Kienholz said...

Ben 8): yeah, well put it out there, maybe it will find a home, and maybe not. But, spin—meaning a lie, no way was I lying. Your link to support yr reference to native language is non-functional. If you have a good link, I’d like to follow it up. I was repeating an old saw heard years ago in the context of poetry, wouldn’t mind knowing how factual it is. The points are there in any case, if your imagination wants to hear them.


Ben 8) said...

Philip, Philip, there ya go again. Working for some type of government
seems ta turn a person.

Pronunciation: \ˈspin\ Function: verb Inflected Form(s): spun
\ˈspən\ ; spin·ning Etymology: Middle English spinnen, from Old English spinnan; akin to Old High German spinnan to spin and perhaps to Lithuanian spęsti to set (a trap) Date: before 12th century

- intransitive verb
1: to engage in spin control (as in politics)transitive verb
2: to stretch out or extend (as a story) lengthily : protract —usually used with out
3: to present (as information) with a particular spin (spin the statistics)

— spin–doctor verb
: a person (as a political aide) responsible for ensuring that others interpret an event from a particular point of view

Try this... www.

Philip Kienholz said...

You cut and copied the quote correctly, but didn't really make your point clear.

Could be you could have used a few more words.

But there I go again, too much annoying speech not advancing the main line of thought. Sometimes the side excursions become the content--or why not explore a little on the way home.

You meant:

In the Dakota language the word "Dakota" translates as "friends" or" allies," but in the Anishinabe (Ojibwe language) the Dakota people are referred to as "enemy."

Sincere thanks for following up and providing the reference. It allows confirmation of your objection, and clarifies understanding. I am grateful.

I would contend that the correction makes a very similar statement as my garbled saw from poetry.

Spelling out the meaning does eliminate some imaginative work by the reader. Comparing strength of argument from an implicit statement to a definitive one, maybe we could agree that completely delineating a point can be less effective in polemic on a highly charged topic than elegance of statement, wit or humor, and leaving conclusions open, at least in a interjection within the main text.

Short statements fit blogs better. Plain language is better for understanding. Complex issues should be dealt with in sound bites--whaaat?

But to spell it out simply, what both the U of Minnesota quote and my discursive interlude said is quite the same. Good and bad are relative. Cultural conditioning can determine friends and enemies. No one culture has a lock on moral judgment. And I added, it is possible experience can change one's values.

Honsing said...

The maxim, "Hatred is not overcome by hatred..." is a wise one indeed. It is the duty of Buddhists to practice it. However we cannot demand that others practice it as well. Hence it is no use to use this for pointing fingers at others. Golden rules are meant for our self practice, and perhaps advise to others. It is not meant for pointing fingers.

Humans like to use concepts to rationalize the world, and then base their actions on their rationalization. The problem with this approach is that the limits of human intelligence quickly becomes an upper bound. There are so many things beyond the capacity of human raionalization. When this happens, humans rely on their "partial" rationalization and cling on to it with their lives.

Hence there are 4 "partial" rationalization here: (1) involves that Israel is wrong; (2) involves Hamas is wrong; (3) involves both are wrong; (4) involves both are not wrong. Venerable seems to subscribe to (1) when he said "Israel is the oppressor". If things are really that clear, then we can simply wrap up the case here and now. But this is not that clear. There are very intelligent people working towards a resolution and even they cannot achieve a more complete rationalization.

To fool ourselves into thinking that "I" have THE correct rationalization and everyone else should listen to me, is an act of ignorance. To cling on to this personal rationalization is craving. When others do not subscribe to us, and we result in frustration, is anger. All the 3 poisons have surfaced! Beware!

Another clinging the Venerable seemed to have is with the "Palestinian woman in the video". Perhaps she did save some lives that day, and that I agree is immeasurably good merit. But did her action lead to other undesirable consequences? Her video posted on the internet, contributing to many others' further "partial" rationalization -- is this good or bad? As people rationalize, they strengthen their ignorance in this issue -- is this good or bad? Is she playing into the hands of politicians? Is her act arousing more anger and greed to the world?

Things are not as simple as it seems in this world. To quickly subscribe to one "partial" rationalization and block out the rest as "falsehood", does not help with world peace.

In fact, the world exists regardless of rationalization. The sun will still shine, the grass will still grow, and the war will still act itself out regardless of whether we are capable of rationalizating it or not. Rationalization is our own fabrication, for our own convenience, and rightfully for our own consumption as well. While it is tempting to fall back on our rationalization all the time, we have to learn to live beyond rationalization as well.

The Buddhist practice of Mindfulness is a step towards beyond rationalization. To see the world as it really is, not what our rationalization tells us what it is. Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out -- this is beyond rationalization. And then we realize that the breath is so supramundane. If we keep using our rationalization, we would never realize that.

It takes tremendous courage to let go of our rationalization -- to put rationalization on the second seat, and not the first. It is very scary at first to see things as they really are. However this is the only way so that Wisdom can occupy the first seat. Rationalization must make way for Wisdom. Without loosening our clinging to rationalization, we shall not attain Wisdom. And without Wisdom, there will be no true Loving Kindness and Compassion. We shall only have "simulated" Loving Kindness and Compassion based on our rationalization. And obviously such "simulated" versions are heavily flawed and achieve much less than what they promise.

I hope this helps, Venerable.

anonymous said...

From a Buddhist perspective, all parties involved in a dispute are in error due to their attachment to the dispute in the first place. This is fine for Buddhists in what we usually regard as minor disputes where all parties are usually equal in error.

As mentioned previously, this dispute has gone beyond what the Palestinians think or do, and has come to involve not only the World's Islamic community, but also most of the ordinary folk of this planet who recognize that there must be some some moral direction in the way that we live.

The prime reason that Israel does not recognize its own injustice is that it receives backing for its 'justification' from the US.

This does not mean that all US citizens support this backing, just those who have arrived at ignorant religious conclusions and have thus been termed the aptly named 'Disneyland' section of the US.

To resolve this situation, the US has to step out of the picture. Then, the Israelis will come to see that they can longer call upon a 'big brother' to jusify their actions and will have to deal with the situation on their own and begin to act reasonably.

However, due to the infuence of certain parties one suspects that there is little chance of this ever happening. Hence the door remains open to other solutions.

Twisted Branch said...

It's an honor to comment on your blog. I am a lay Buddhist and have studied under Ajahn Varasak who was a student of the most venerable Buddhadassa. It is clear that your blog comes from the insightful, detached perspective of a Bhikkhu. As well as someone with a working knowledege of history. Isreal as an extension of colonialism is a brilliant observation. And of course the "us versus them" conditioning that stems from the ignorant belief in self. Like Buddha taught... ignorance is the root cause of all suffering. We can offer no solutions only observations, well we could offer the Dhamma, but the western world is not very fond of it.
May all living beings be free from dhukka.