This is the third time I have tried to write this post. The second time, I actually posted and then deleted it some two hours later. Sometimes I wonder about myself!!!
You know, communication can be a hard thing, mainly because we bring to the table so many different things which affect the way in which we are able to relate to another person at any given moment. Example: The way a Jewish New Yorker from a large family communicates is going to be radically different than an American Indian from a small family. Likewise, how a shy person and how an outgoing person or a Midwesterner and an East Coaster communicate will be different. We bring our egos, insecurities, frustrations from the day, family style, greater community and region, etc. to each of our conversations. This can become even more complicated when we feel passionate about that which we are discussing.
I think some frame the Middle East conflict from a Jewish-Arab perspective and some from a war-anti-war perspective and others from a big dog-underdog perspective. Mix into that the unique ways in which each person communicates and I think it leaves room for misunderstanding.
From what I can tell, having talked to Hugalicious Kids and my teachers (Carol and Neal), the Mind of Peace discussion forum for Peace in the Middle East, has forged past and are not letting differences in communication styles hinder their will and determination to move forward with the discussion and dream of achieving peace in Israel.
That, in itself, is impressive.
Me, on the other hand, not so impressive. I am stringintly and passionately against war. I have belonged to Mothers Against War since the first Gulf war and am impressed with their grassroots movement of opposing such violence that kills children. And it opposes "all elected and appointed officials who support a war policy that does not take into account the moral imperatives of just peace, cooperation, assistance, and harmony in shaping public policy."
I don't want to claim that I have always felt this way or that I even felt this way suddenly one day, but my connection to Israel has been growing and intertwining within me for some years now. I feel as if my roots and its roots have grown together and make one big, narly super-root that is stronger than it would be if it had not grown together. However, this sort of "connection" if you will is at odds with the statement above in a lot of ways.
It really pushes me to consider where I stand these days on this issue. Joe asked me about a month ago where I stood. Afterall, some ten years ago, I was an outspoken critic of the number of deaths of people in various places around the world due to war and one of them was Israel. And I still feel that the deaths that are occurring are tragic.
Today, though, I find myself contantly trying to rebalance myself to the center. What rights do Israel have in this situation? Is there another way to do this without war?
If my previous view could be considered leftist, I now am in the opposite position of being rightish on this issue. I strive to be centralist in so much as to recongnize the humanity of both sides while working positively for an acceptable outcome. That being said, I feel myself being pulled right because of this connection, this love that has occurred in the last 6 years between Israel and me , and which tends to get stronger and stronger with each person I know who makes aliyah or new Israeli I meet.
So as I type tonight...know that I am still working through it.
I thing I pray at night is to have compassion and clear judgement.