Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thoughts about Israel, Palestine and Gaza

Before I begin, I have some qualifications and questions. Unlike most of what you read in the media, this article is designed to make you think for yourself. If you don’t like that idea, don’t read it. Apologies that the article doesn't flow. Its more like an outpouring of ideas and questions.

I don’t know very much about very much. In this case and in all world affairs, I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. I don’t know who is pulling what strings. I don’t really know what to make of the ‘history’ I was taught and I don’t know what to think about it all, period. And it’s not always comfortable to admit that I don’t know and that I probably never will. Its so tempting to kid myself that I do know and then get stuck in to a good old argument to try and convince others of my cleverness and righteousness. 

But I will resist that. Now the questions.

Why does what’s going on in the area get so much coverage? There are terrible atrocities involving much larger numbers than this against innocent victims happening all over the world, from Ukraine and Syria to Zimbabwe and Kenya. there are humans rights abuses happening in North Korea and China as well as Russia and Turkey, Iran and Suadi Arabia. And yet in Israel/Palestine the war is not against a totally innocent civilian population. The leaders of this population are playing a crazy and complicated game aren't they? So why so much coverage about Israel/Palestine?

Having analysed the UK media, I always ask myself (and you are invited to ask yourself), why are they reporting this, what are they trying to make me think about? Should I even give it any thought? Should I give anything any thought? How are they trying to make me feel? What do I feel when I read/hear about this situation? Is that a deliberate effect that the newspaper owners want me to experience? What are they trying to distract me from? What are the subliminal messages being pumped into me through the stories and reports? Or is it all a bit random? Is the system - whatever that is - out of control?

My responses to some of those questions follow here although you may want to pause this and think about your responses first.

Before we begin, I have a question based on something I read of Eckhart Tolle. Ask yourself - I wonder what would happen if I keep at least some of my attention on my feelings and thoughts – witnessing them – as I listen to/read through this. I wonder what would happen if I wrote those down and explored them after reading/hearing this?

Are words important to those who wish to manipulate you? Has Israel ever done anything wrong? Ever? I ask this because is not Israel just a concept in your mind? Can a concept do anything? When Tony Blair went to war by commanding the people in the army, did the UK go to war? Has UK ever done anything wrong or right? Have the government ever done anything wrong or right? Has any government? Have the Israeli, British or American army ever injured anyone? (Ask the injured one if he has any bones with ‘The UK’ or more with the man who pressed the trigger or the man who told him to? Has Hamas ever killed anyone? What if it is PEOPLE who do things? What if they do those things because of ideas they have in their heads which they got from outside themselves? And for those who would say its just a semantic word game, what if this word game is being played against the interests of MOST of the people in the area regardless of which ‘group’ they imagine themselves to be in? Could it be important to be aware of these word games in order to avoid playing them unknowingly? Is this word game harmless or is it used to protect the human beings who perpetuate all kinds of violence and theft because they can hide behind an organisation or an ideology?

So in terms of subliminal messages, is anthropomorphising of concepts like Countries, Religions or Corporations a powerful subliminal tool?

Are ALL the people in the area being used as a scapegoat? Is a certain group of people bearing the brunt of it more than another group of people? But what if ALL people are being taken for a ride?

Is there an Hegelian dialectic being set up here in order to keep you from asking a fundamental question? Is that dialectic the question of whether or not Israel is a legitimate concern? What if that diverts us from the larger question - Is ANY modern state and government a legitimate concern?

And is this scapegoating based on the manipulation of ALL people in the region using FEAR?
Is this story is designed like so many to stir up FEAR in us all and to encourage us to fall into the trap of taking sides for fear of admitting that we are confused and don’t know what to think!

Put another way, is there something much bigger than Palestine/Israel going on here? I just spoke to a friend from the area who claimed that the Qataris have been financing Hamas for years but were told to stop by the Saudis and did stop resulting in n obamas salaries being paid for 3 months. Then Hamas people retried to raid the Palestinian banks to no avail so they decided to kick up some chaos to get people on their side! Who knows?!)

Every day as part of my spiritual practise, I recite the serenity prayer. There are several versions – I oscillate between two but here’s the best known ‘god – grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.’

The one thing I can do something about is my response to external events/people and in particular to my fears, which are often triggered by externalities. And life presents me with thousands of opportunities to face my fears. Frustration, worry, annoyance and anger are all children of fear. So this story induces fear in me but instead of my examining that fear and realising that it is in my head and likely to be a negative projection into the future, I focus on that which I think causes me the fear and project that fear back to the projector of it. What if that psychological mechanism is what leads to war itself?

One of the most interesting encounters I have had in my time was a couple of years ago when I was visiting Tel Aviv university to interview various people at random to ask them about the ‘situation’ there. I stumbled across a man who identified himself as a Muslim Israeli citizen and he was studying Islamic culture at Tel Aviv University (get your head around that.) He refused to be filmed or recorded but agreed to talk to me. I asked him why he wouldn’t be filmed. He replied ‘when I was in my twenties (25 years ago) I would go round the cafes, mosques and clubs in different Muslim communities in Israel and tell the people that its not the Jews that are our enemies. It’s the industrialists – the Capitalist leaders. One day I got a knock at the door by two guys claiming to be from the secret services. They warned me that I must stop what I was doing and saying. I eventually had to leave the country and live in Europe and on my return I decided that I couldn’t carry on with my message so I now keep it to myself.

There seem to be claims that the people in the army and Government knew that the boys had been murdered well before it was announced. If this is so, why did they start this campaign to ‘bring back our boys?’ when they knew they were dead? If it is not so, do you think an average group of people who call themselves government would be capable of that type of thing?

Who is the ‘our boys’ referring to in the slogan?

What is the implication with the ‘bring back our boy slogan? If it is all Israelis, or even if it is only Jewish Israelis, do the people who call themselves government including Netanyahu really care about all the boys in the country?

Even if we just look at the Jewish ones (this applies to all boys in the region anyway) - what about the hundreds of thousands that live in abject poverty? What about all the social justice issues with rental prices shooting up by over 100% recently? What about all the suicides that are a result of economic policies? What about the people who lead and work in global corporations who bombard ‘our boys’ with messages tempting them into doing and getting all sorts of things that are unhealthy? What about Netanyahu and those who call themselves governments' friends who run the big fictional corporations – what about what they do to ‘our girls’ sexualising them at a young age, subjecting them to photoshopped models inducing all sorts of mental health conditions in young women which include anorexia which KILLS God knows how many girls? What about the friends of those who call themselves gov who run the media and their employees terrorising the people of Israel with their fear porn without providing context (Like statistics about the chances of it happening to you)

What type of people are attracted to politics and what type of characteristics are needed to rise to the top of ANY large organisation and specifically a political party?

Could it be as I read recently (In the Daily (Hate) Mail of all places) that 1 in 25 of the heads of large organisations are psychopaths? One of the ‘symptoms’ of being a psychopath is the inability to feel human empathy. That means that if a psychopath was walking along a street and saw a baby who had just been in a bad car accident and its limbs had been severed, the psychopath would feel no empathy – it would be like viewing any other scene. However, he/she would take notice of the mother crying and the people around, listen to the type of things they were saying and then go home and practise acting like them in front of a mirror. This acting ability would have to be perfected as a MATTER of LIFE and DEATH because the psychopath realises that if people found out that he/she had no ability for human empathy, they might be locked up.

So if you look at David Cameron’s performances, they are so convincing that millions take them for real. Another great actor is Netanyahu.

Even if he himself is a genuine person with the ability to feel human empathy, what type of people have influence on him? People at the top of large organisations like, the secret services, Mossad, FBI, MI5, billionaires, CEOs of Banks etc. Is it likely that some of them are psychopaths or at least show some of the signs?

If that is the case, are there people in the world who benefit from large scale conflict? Could they be in positions of influence over those who call themselves government?

Could it be that the Jews and Muslims in that area are actually being played off against each other without either side realising just like the man in the story said?

Isn’t it strange that both ‘sides’ are convinced that the other side has been subject to propaganda and brainwashed yet neither can see or admit that they themselves have been conditioned and misled en masse? Would it be a good idea for all of us to question our own thinking?

Did not those who call themselves the government know full well that if they started going in to Gaza and arresting the people in response to the kidnapping and murder, the rocket attacks would be restarted and stepped up?

Did not those who call themselves the government know full well that this would help get the people on their side so that they could do what they wanted to do anyway?

Did not those who call themselves the government know full well that war  would lead to a large amounts of civilian injuries and death including the death of many of their own people? Many more than the 3 deaths they were responding to?

Did not those who call themselves the government know full well that this would lead to lots of reporting in the media and this would in turn lead to anti Semitism in some places?

Is there any element of revenge going on here? If so, is that in line with any religions teachings?

And then I bring it once again back to myself. If it is a crime to ignore or turn a blind eye to the suffering of the other, surely most of us are guilty every time we use our iPhones, or eat a banana or even put on our underpants in the morning or fill up our car with petrol. Many suffered along the road to any of these things.

Why are people who align with Hamas ideology doing what they are doing? What are they trying to achieve?

What is Hamas ideology?

Lets lighten up the conversation and take a quick look at the Hamas Charter which could be a good script for a 'life of Brian' type film about the situation.

How many people in the area support Hamas ideology?

How do they treat their own people?

What about those who oppose Hamas ideology?

Are they psychopaths too, possibly having contracted the illness through trauma?

Haven’t we got brilliant minds everywhere we look who could, given enough resources, sort out the situation using creative and innovative ideas and approaches?

What if, instead of spending all that money on bombs and arms and soldiers, the money (yes billions) was used to start a campaign to help people who have been traumatised by the violence they have seen, and make it clear to the people of Gaza that there may be some psychopaths amongst them and that these people need special care and attention and often find themselves at/near the top of any organisations and therefore anyone in such a position should be treated with great suspicion!?

Yesterday I was challenging the socialist workers party who were getting people in Brixton to sign a petition ‘against Israeli terror.’ I asked them on the megaphone why they weren’t against ALL terror? They ended up threatening me physically and the guy who I was with by trying to break his camera. I must say that the PCSO on duty was excellent. He was there to protect me and called for backup to do the same. My point about it is that they were clearly demonstrating a violent way of being, adding to the fear.

If I choose to subject myself to this kind of propaganda (is not all information propaganda?), am I being part of the problem or part of the solution with my reaction/response to it? Am I adding to the fear and division or am I adding compassion and peace?


Anonymous said...

What a complete and utter cop out, I'm sure your conscience will sleep comfortably this evening after getting that off your chest.

How can justify turning a blind-eye to the suffering of so many? I may very well be wrong in saying this, but I feel you've put the concept of what you perceive as Judaism before your common humanity.

There are a plenty of Jewish people who are against the killing of oppressed families, Zionism is NOT Judaism, it's OK to be against Zionism if you're Jewish.

With that being said, I admire your OVERALL way of being.

danny shine said...

I think we all turn a blind eye to the suffering of others as I have said here. When we use our smart phones, eat a banana or fill up our cars with petrol. Just living in the UK with our history and our current governments behaviour is turning a blind eye. Go down any high street and try and buy something that doesn't have a trail of suffering behind it.

The only way I know of dealing with all this in a way that is not hypocritical is to create a self sustaining community off the grid.

danny shine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danny shine said...

And I think that the particular situation in Gaza is a classic way of dividing and conquering and distracting. Keep us ants busy pointing the finger at each other whilst the monster that is the system just continues destroying all of life for profit. Finger pointing is so tempting because it takes the attention away from myself and my ego and fears.

Anonymous said...

I do understand what you're saying, or at least I think I do..

I personally struggle to remain impartial when faced with such blatant disregard of human-life ..and I'm not just referring to the lives of Palestinians.

I can't help but try and imagine living life the way they are being forced to live, It provokes a lot of powerful emotions, when I see the pictures of Schools being blown up and children in pieces, their parents desperately trying to hold their bodies together.

It provokes a lot of emotions when I see the Live-Leaks of other human-beings congregating on hillsides to get a better view of the destruction.

I just want them and anyone else suffering this level of cruelty to find something that resembles peace.

You are correct though, the majority of people do turn a blind eye, there's undoubtedly things I've done that have contributed to the suffering of other people, and we are all hypocrites in one way or another,

I'm not denying any of that.

mike b said...

Great post Danny, I agree with pretty much everything you have said. However, this point in your reply I am in disagreement with.

"The only way I know of dealing with all this in a way that is not hypocritical is to create a self sustaining community off the grid."

Im not sure if hypocritical is really the right word there, to me that implies an implicit awareness of of all of the things that you may be inadvertently supporting by simply buying something or pledging your allegiance to some one or some thing.
Sometimes you don't really have a choice, or the choices seem pretty marginal.
It could be just be that you mean, you personally though!
Keep on keeping it real :)

Matthew Ellis said... thoughts?

suziecreamchease said...

FEck ?!!

altho i did not much pull my punches.. did not expect to have my comment removed .. but it appears to have gone ??
i thought i made an entirely valid point.. all the more worthwhile as it seemed to contradict what you were saying..
anyway .. just came back to say google radio 4 "in touch" then go to "living through the bombing" episode from 22nd which shows that bbc is capable of reporting things in cosmic way very much in tune with the kind of anarchist philosophy that i thought we both shared..

suziecreamchease said...

totally agree that the problem is finger pointing divide and conquer..
in terms of opposing governments taking their power from process of making those they claim to represent feel threatened by and hateful of the other side..
but still appropriate to point the finger back at all of those who choose to take their flag too seriously and choose to give their governments permission to kill in their name..

danny shine said...

i didn't remove your comment. I almost never do that to anyone especially not you

Anonymous said... (you won't watch this)

Anonymous said...

Before making it to the 'Hamas Charter', you may want to rewinf almost 100 years and read the 'Diaries of Theodor Herzl' to see why Israel would want to increase anti-Semitism worldwide and use it to their advantage. I think that will give a definitive answer to one of your questions.

Theodor Herzl is the founder of Modern Zionism and Israel, wrote his diaries in the late 1890s, and talked about increasing anti-Semitism to bring opposing Jews to Zionism's side while garnering worldwide sympathy for Jews. He is also the founder of the World Zionist Congress in 1898 which still meets today in Israel as the WZO and has a huge memorial in Israel dedicated to him.

MD Wag said...

I tried that community off the grid when younger. It is a very good way to live. But the people who profit from a system of strife wish to drive mankind. One can still exist outside of it in some places. But if wanting to make the combine work better, than there are evil ideologies to work against. And better ones to embody. Through inner peace ultimately will be the only way to world peace.

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