Originally posted here on Oct. 19, 2015.
I am starting to see very clearly that there are those people who have the moral and emotional intelligence to understand two sides of a conflict, two enemies at once, and there are those who need to demonize someone in every situation. There are those who can empathize with their own community and with another, and there are those who at every turn look to demonize one group and whitewash their own. These are two camps of humanity, one with an evolved mind, and one with a primitive mind. Educational levels and graduate degrees having nothing to do with these two camps.
I am horrified by the mob mentality, I am saddened by many people I have helped and defended, not from my own community, who the first chance they get, join virtual lynch mobs.
The fact is that it is easy to …
CONFLICT DEESCALATION IN JERUSALEM AND HEBRON: JUST A THOUGHTWe need a rapid response team, perhaps through an app, of respected observers of violent incidents in both communities, people who know and trust each other, to rapidly investigate and disseminate the facts as best they know them, in order for whatever reactions that occur be based on better knowledge of all the facts. Perhaps the app could be open, but with a respected panel who can immediately detect those on the app with consistent disinformation.This is a suggestion for a new tactic of precision popular journalism across enemy lines. I know journalists on both sides who are committed to their profession and also to peace, and I know many on both sides who have a firm interest in saving lives always as a priority. I also know the
One of the greatest strategic thinkers from the right in Israel speaks his mind. He reflects the majority of the thinking of the military and intelligence upper echelons. But our biggest problem today is democratic lemmings…those who march obediently over cliffs of self-destruction created by demagogues.
See full article here.…
(reflections on the 2010 decade’s upward tick of liberal idea dissemination, coinciding with the upward tick of reactionary trends in democratic voting)
The weakness of democracy:
The ballot box,
For it is a private space of,
This is a paradox for,
Democracy was meant as an antidote to tribalism.
The strength of democracy:
Agreed upon rights,
Agreed upon universal commitments,
Based on the unshakeable rule of law.
This has upended,
Tribalism’s death grip on history.
This is also a paradox of human nature.
What is to be done next?…
“Minorities, Majorities, and Religious Freedom: Patterns and Possibilities for Israel, Palestine, and Beyond” -Georgetown University Berkley Center
My latest article was published on Berkely Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University.
Please have a look at it from here, and your comments are always more than welcome.
The history of freedom of religion in its most successful moments of impact has been the history of the empowerment of minority religions, the religions that are especially reviled by some segments of a majority. It is vital that the rights of minority religions be protected in both Israel and Palestine as a critical test of a functioning democracy. It is marker of a state in which the rule of law can be trusted to work for everyone. This means that Christians, Jews, and others must be guaranteed their rights in the new state of Palestine, and that Muslims, Christians, and non-Orthodox Jews be
How can we listen to sad love songs,
When there are so many starving for love?
Who the hell do we think we are?
What rights for pity do we think we have,
When outside our doorstep,
Is a cosmos of love-starved beings?
COSMIC ANNIHILATION CREATION
We, we are the Higgs boson,
We are elusive,
Impossible to discover,
I wrote this during the Gaza war. I think the theme of dance is very important, post-quantum physics way to understand the complex interaction of enemies, how they build on each other, and what it must teach us in reverse. I am amazed at how much of a dance enemies have, how much they depend on each other’s worst behaviors. We know this scientifically but it is hard to internalize as a definition of fluid reality. All our debates are as if enemies are fixed entities not evolving with each other. We warriors for peace still do not know how to really counteract that. We have tried the arts, we have tried tourism, we have tried commerce, but the dance of death is more frightening and compelling to the masses. Why did the young generation succeed in the 1960’s to create a real alternative that attracted the masses, but …
It is a law:
Violence begets nonviolence,
Like a tulip in winter,
In all places,
In all cultures.
But only those
With eyes wide open
Can see it,
In the middle of
The most important turning point
for any civilization passing from darkness into light
is every moment
that a weapon passes
from someone who has no self control
and no compassion
to someone who does.…
I recently wrote a cover article reflecting on the recent war in Gaza to the newsletter published by School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Practice is a messy, miserable reality that deserves its own independent study. What do we do in times of war? This has dramatically changed for me and many others in just the last year or two, where every war seems to be bringing individuals together online to a level of intimacy, collaboration, and care unprecedented, and others to a level of hatred unprecedented. Then there are shades of gray, where how you frame your disagreements, your texts, your cries, your screams, your pleas, your ruminations in the dead of night, all of it yields surprising communications across enemy lines, in all of the many and variegated enemy systems that overlap in international conflicts. A string of people from one side of the conflict becoming the only
In war in an age of war the act of ultimate defiance is to make another human being feel wonderful.
Testosterone, gestures of kindness are semen seeds. Men get busy, it will make you inherently happy and bear you many children.
Mimicry, the compulsion of humans to mirror their postures, facial expressions, and enemy war cries. Most posts on FB and Twitter.
Better to deny the past in fear and embrace the present with courage than to embrace the past with courage and deny the present in fear.