Sunday, August 03, 2014
Is there ever an argument for war?
I keep seeing bodies of tiny Palestinian babies, days or weeks old on the news, killed by Israeli bombs, mortars and shells, and want to scream, "What are you thinking? Don't you know that hate breeds only hate?"
I knew two survivors of the Nazi death camps, a couple who had met afterwards and married. Both lost their entire families in the Holocaust. So one cannot blame Jews for feeling threatened, wherever they are, when they see Anti-Semitism.
WWII need never have happened. The reason no one challenged Hitler to begin with, as he began his campaign to wipe out Germany's Jews, was because Anti-Semitism was as rife in England, France, America and Canada as it was in the countries bordering Germany. No one cared about what Hitler was doing to the Jews, or those who cared were too few, and too politically weak to make their governments care.
And after the war ended, Europe's Jews wanted to be safe, and while there was sympathy for what they had gone through no other country was willing to take them. Palestine was a British Colony, and Britain did what all nations have done to/with their colonies since the colonial system was born. Without giving a thought to the problems the "solution" of "giving" Palestine to the Jews would cause. But giving them a mythic homeland they hadn't seen in 2000 years meant displacing Palestinians who had lived there all that time.
Lenape, who lived there for 10,000 years before Europeans arrived and took it from them.
Mark out a tiny quarter where all of today's non-Lenape residents of Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey could live, herd them all in there, build a wall around them and then turn every house, store, building, roadway park and cemetery over to the Lenape. Lock, stock, barrel. I can imagine New Jersey Governor Chris Christy's face now. Oh, he doesn't look happy!
There'd be a war. And anyone with any sense would say, "You can't just overturn 400 years of history, and take what people have worked for all their lives from them! You can't stuff millions of people into warren-like living conditions and deprive them of adequate food, water, medical supplies and the amenities of life without causing a rebellion!"
Yet that is precisely what has been done to the Palestinian people, and yet Israel has been cast as the victim when Palestinian anger and frustration boils over and they react with violence. You think the people in Jersey City wouldn't react with violence under the same conditions?
Israeli politicians refer to their periodic invasions and destruction of Palestinian Territory as "mowing the lawn". Many Israelis feel sympathy for the Palestinians and don't like the policies of their government, but their voices are drowned out by the rumble of the arms trade. In America there are fundamental Christians who urge government to arm Israel with the latest and biggest weapons in order to hasten what they believe will be the Battle of Armageddon, which they believe will bring on the destruction of Jerusalem and the "Rapture".
Those of us who have no such delusions understand that we and the generations following ours will have to live in the world we are destroying with our greed and our ethnic and religious hatreds and would prefer to follow a different path.
It's time people of peace everywhere rose up and with one voice demanded a better way, a different way, of dealing with each other, in the Middle East and elsewhere. There is a petition here: Peace.Now seeking to collect a billion signatures from people living in countries all over the world asking each government to create a Department or Ministry of Peace, just as they have a Department or Ministry of War, fund and staff it, and use it to seek non-violent solutions to our problems.
Grievances need to be heard and dealt with, before they eat the heart of a people and they feel violence is the only solution left. Please, join me today in signing this petition and become an ambassador for peace. When you sign, you will receive a free screening of the celebrated 20-minute film, Admissions, winner of 25 International Awards, starring Academy Award® nominee, James Cromwell. And pass on the petition to others, so they can sign as well. There must be a billion of us who are tired of war by now.