"Children in Gaza" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
I can hear some of my readers now:
"Oh David, I'm disappointed in you. You've managed to stay out of politics‚ until now! Stick to spiritual issues where you're more experienced and informed."
"I can't believe you take that position! You obviously¬†don't understand!"
"This proves you are not one of God's people or care about them either!"
But I couldn't resist any longer.
I finally have to say something. I can't be silent out of fear of offending someone or losing fans or readers. I know it is complicated and I can be accused of not knowing what I'm talking about. But I need to say what I'm feeling and thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I also hesitated because I run an online community, The Lasting Supper
, and I don't want partisan politics to be a factor in what defines our community. I appreciate diversity, and our community is represented by people across the political spectrum. So I will not post this there.
This is me, personally, as David Hayward, expressing my distress over this situation. Even though I don't, nor can I, demand the same from anyone else, I simply must respond in my own way.
The Dalai Lama expresses my view
of appealing to history for the solution. The spiritual leader of Tibet, in exile in India since 1959, has urged Beijing and the Tibetans to "stop looking at everything only through the prism of history. The conflict in the Middle East adopted this methodology and has proved practically endless: Israelis and Palestinians cannot agree because they both use the facts of the past to claim the territories."
I agree that there isn't a logical solution to this problem. It's going to require extra-human wisdom and compassion from all sides.
All the arguments are serious but powerless to affect change. They make me feel unqualified and disqualified, uninformed and ill-informed, and that I need to stand back and make room for the educated professionals to escalate the violence. All the explanations feel like clever attempts to justify the complicated history and continue the bloodshed. The explanations seem like the validation of hopelessness.
When I read Brian Eno's impassioned letter
, he perfectly expresses how I feel about the conflict.
When I read Peter Schwartz's rational response
to it,¬†he perfectly expresses how I think the rationales are being presented.
I'm bewildered by all the civilians being killed. The children! Unhindered!
Even this morning a 72 hour truce was broken with the bombing deaths of more Palestinians
just a few hours after the ceasefire commenced!
It has to stop. We all need to ask for it all to stop. On both sides, including those who have done most of the killing, the ratio now being at least 25 to 1
I had to speak out now because I was feeling complicit in the violence against innocents. I was guilty of silence.
There, I said it.