Doctrines of hate

Midnight. Flipping channels. Nothing on the tube. Nothing but “Breaking News” on CNN as Israel begins “Phase Two,” a “ground operation” inside the Northern end of the Gaza Strip.

“What Phase Three is one can only imagine,” so says a CNN correspondent, inside Southern Israel with Western journalists not yet granted access inside the Strip.

2 a.m. Reuters is reporting that hundreds of Israeli tanks have moved deep inside Gaza, into heavily populated areas.

CNN is attempting to be fair in reporting a very unfair situation, with supporters of Hamas and of Israel feverishly placing blame.

Blame. I’ll tell you what’s to blame: these people absolutely hate each other. Hate is a strange and strong doctrine to be embraced by two of the world’s major religions.

“Barack Obama cannot wait until he’s inaugurated: he must speak out NOW!” screams one man into the camera. I didn’t catch which “side” he's on, and it really doesn’t matter.

Joe Biden, with about as much foreign relations expertise as anyone in the country, was right when he said there would be an international crisis to test Obama’s strength within the first six months of his presidency. Only it appears the crisis has arrived early. “Mark my words,” Biden said, and I did.

The thing is: the United States is fraught with crises - compounded over the last eight years - in almost every facet of American life. Americans are looking to President-elect Obama for leadership in abating these crises. We are on our knees.

I don’t know about you, but I deeply resent that we are expected to choose sides and get caught up in an unceasing maelstrom of hatred when we face so much at home.


Good Southern Man said...

You are absolutely right. Though, I must say I am very impatient. With so many bad things happening, it is very hard to sit back and wait for new leadership. The old leader has stopped working (in my opinion) and frankly I don't want him to work. He needs to keep his trap shut and not try to stir the pot before leaving. I know that Obama is a man just like any other. He will make mistakes. The difference is that I find him to be highly educated and truly concerned over the well-being of our country. People are going to hold him to standards of a god like the man stating that he must speak out now. I refuse to do that. He has already made one bad decision in my opinion but that doesn't change my overall opinion about him having the ability to do great things for this country. I am excited and impatient but in a good way.

B.J. said...

Good comment, GSM.

To readers: By "we are on our knees," I did not mean in worship. I meant begging for relief.

Many in this country are desperate.


airth10 said...

I don't think this is the test Biden was referring to. This is an old situation. He was referring to a brand new situation that hasn't tested anybody yet.

Tiny said...

Tiny isn't sure which of the eruptions are to test Obama since there are so many in the present mix: Israel VS Gaza which Bush administration did nothing to broker peace agreements, Ilinois Gov appointing Burris to replace Obama in the senate, economic disaster,Richardson pulling his nomination for Secretary of Commerce etc.

Hamas leader was elected via a democracy process; yet, US did not recognize the democracy process in that particular election.

Palestinians and others in the Middle East reject the Westerners trying to force their policies on people who do not want them. (The USA has such an appealing record right now! NOT)

Remember that the neo-cons and Zionists in this country believe all of their hate and ungodly interference in the Middle East is going to force their imaginative rapture" to occur.

Is it a test for Obama and Biden? It seems it is to test the meddle of everyone on this planet.

Arab nations demand a cease fire, but the US blocked the U.N. Security Council statement calling for a cease fire. Why? Perhaps an answer to that "why" would give the world population a better insight into the situations in the Mid East.

Indeed "we are on our knees begging for relief." Opportunity to live in peace and harmony would be welcome also.

Falzone for America said...

Watching CSPAN today economists were advising new law makers to be weary of over regulating in response to our disastrous economic situation. In a world where we are our worst enemies regulation intending forced redemption is our only hope.

I didn't need to read blogs to know that ALL wars were fought for profit. Gandhi and Christ are the only non violent reference's we have to learn a better way to respond to oppression.

Many will disagree but I think we should ignore the behavior. No more financial support to Israel. Let the battle play out and the outcome be a result of ignorance.

Focus on our survival and battle the criminal leadership that oppresses foreign nationals for natural and labor resources. Focus on fascist propaganda and the dilution of our rights and freedoms. Focus on false information designed to prevent universal healthcare and the upward mobility of every American citizen.

We are not the keepers of the world. All peoples have the ability to persevere against their oppressors. Gandhi proved it through peaceful means. We proved it with violence in a different time. I wish we had chosen differently but the results were quicker. Let Israel and Palestine make their bed and lay in it. Their troubles are dire, horrific, and unfortunate but why should we make them our troubles. If we continue to allow the media to divert our attention from solving our problems we will surely fall.

Papamoka said...

I lived with a parent with a deep anger for the English people. He didn't know any but he hated them anyway. My father was the son of what used to be a farmer that lashed out against the English in Ireland and ran to America. It took a generation or two to break the hate cycle but the killing had to stop first. The big question here is if both sides actually want peace. The dilema in Israel and in Gaza is no different than what happened in Northern Ireland. You have to want the peace and it can not be stuffed down your throat by anyone.

The kind of hate going on in the Middle East is centuries old and I fear it will continue forever. The seeds of change are coming though but it is a slow process. Many higher education facilities are opening all over the region and the success of peace will eventually rest in the hands of leaders from these institutions that will serve as proof. If they stand for peace and fight for peace diplomatically, then peace will come.

Great post BJ and thank you for it!

SheikFrodoAliBlabber said...

Frodo is, by avocation, a behavioral student of Middle Eastern Affairs. There are a couple of points he would like to be considered (and his compliments to all for a spirited, heartfelt discussion). There is not a history of enmity between the Israelis and the Palestinians (the participants in all of "the Crusades" were Christians, not Jews). The issues are nearly all post-World War II in orientation.

The other consideration is the non-territorial aspect of terrorism itself. Al Qaeda is a stateless organization, appearing wherever it can fill a vacuum in the Arab World. Hezbollah, Hamas, and other "political parties" are assigned to places called "Gaza" and "the West Bank," they are not something as definable as, for instance, the Irish Republican Army. The point being that it is not a "war" as we know war, it is closer to the break-up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent conflicts which produced Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, et al. It is a struggle for territory in order to establish borders.

The British tried to draw a map, and figured that everything would turn out swell. The Jews wanted their biblical birthright. The Palestinians are refugees, who just want a place to call their own.

Sixty years have produced violence and an enmity which has hardened like concrete. Incompetent leadership (need I reference the "Incomparable Moron"?)has allowed religious ideological weaponry to enter the scene of possibilities. For that reason, the very future of humankind on our small blue planet is threatened.

The best news we have is that we have a guy with a brain in the White House in two weeks. As long as he keeps his private parts in his pants, he has the opportunity to consider all of your input, and to establish "detente" (remember that word boys and girls). A balance must exist that deters one from undue influence against all others.

Our song is "We gotta sink the Bismarck, cause the world depends on us. . ."--Johnny Horton.

B.J. said...

All of you make valid points. Papamoka, I believe, was making the point that peace must be desired to be attained.

My all-time favorite book – one I have read once a year since it came out – is James Michener’s “The Source.” Readers of the book will remember that those in charge of the dig at Tell Makor were Christian, Muslim and Jew. (Do you remember which of the three was “of the family of Ur?”) When Michener was not spinning historical tales around each item uncovered in the dig, his lead characters spent their free time discussing relationships between the three religions in “the Holy Land.”

Frodo is right that the problems between Arab and Jew began 60 years ago with the creation of Israel as a state. At this point in history, Michener points out, there was a transformation from a submissive and docile people to “the new militant Jew.”

After centuries of being pacificists, the Jews essentially said, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it any more.” We saw this in the daring rescue at Entebbe, in the attempted rescue at Munich, and Mossad’s quiet and systematic assassinations in revenge for the latter.

The United States has armed both Muslims and Jews with the tools of war. In fact, Congressman Charlie Wilson was successful in getting Jews to arm freedom fighters in Afghanistan.

In my mind, there are questions:

What are the pros and cons of continuing military engagements and of a lasting peace? Yes, the conflict is territorial, but at its heart is religious discord.

Why must anyone critical of Israel be automatically labeled “anti-Semitic?” We saw this here when anyone dared criticize the neocons.

If this nation truly sees the wisdom of “separation of church and state,” how can we base our Middle Eastern policies on a Judeo-Christian allegiance?

In the end, does any of this matter when innocent civilians - men, women and children – are dying on both sides? BJ