Chattering Mind

I wholeheartedly recommend that you read Beliefnet’s new “Posts from a War” blog–particularly if you, like most people, find the Middle East conflict confounding. Every day Beliefnet posts new commentary on the war by scholars and religious leaders designed to help readers understand what the conflict means for Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, American Jews, American Muslims, and anyone else concerned with the conflicts’s global implications. It has helped me get my bearings for sure, and I think you will benefit.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post by author/translator Haim Watzman in which he rejects the idea of demonizing “the enemy.”

“First, seeking to suffocate debate by flinging a charge of anti-Semitism at anyone who questions Israeli policy is consistent neither with Jewish tradition nor democratic practice. Second, charging that Islam is by nature anti-Semitic is a slander. Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, contains within it a multitude of traditions and voices, and religious leaders of all three religions have all been able to use their traditions to justify hatred and violence. And all three traditions have had leaders who have used those same traditions to advocate tolerance and peace. At this point in history, Islam has too many of the first kind of leader and not enough of the second. But neither Christianity nor Judaism can cast stones.”

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