Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


Hezbollah, Hamas, and Lord of the Rings

Reading the news the other day, I felt like Frodo Baggins does as things look grim in “Lord of the Rings.” It seems we have our own Two Towers. On one hand, we have the Shiites: Hezbollah, rather than being castigated for hijacking Lebanese foreign policy, maintaining a private army that launched an unprovoked attack against Israel, and holding the Israeli hostages through it all, is being lionized for having “bloodied” Israel. Hezbollah’s equivalent in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas, is now also contemplating importing rockets to inflict similar damage. I’m sure Iran and Syria are enjoying the success of their puppets. If that were not enough to get us down, there is Al-Qaeda and their circle of Islamicist Sunnis, whose recent effort to destroy a large number of passenger planes was thwarted, thank God, by British authorities.

Like Frodo, I hate war, and the death, destruction, and pain it causes. But wanting peace can’t save Israel any more than it would have effectively saved Frodo and his Hobbits from Sauron and Saruman.

Why? Because, like Sauron and Saruman, Hezbollah and Hamas don’t want to live cooperatively and respectfully in peace. If they did, they never would have initiated their attacks on Israel, who had already evacuated Lebanon and Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas, and Al-Qaeda, are very vocal about their goal: the elimination of Israel and the destruction of Christian/Western/modern economic and cultural influence/hegemony over the world, respectively.

Before this most recent war in Lebanon, it was widely believed that Israel’s strength lay in its ability to wield force as an effective deterrent.

No longer. Force alone does not work under the new conditions in which we find ourselves, facing a foe who cares little for civilian casualties, even its own.

That doesn’t mean there is no role for force, however. Israeli force did achieve a number of objectives: rockets are no longer raining down on Israeli cities, not because Hezbollah doesn’t want to but because their capability has been effectively limited, at least for now.

However, this war did damage the deterrence value of the threat of Israeli force. That may not be all bad, particularly since it was never totally true anyway. The first Lebanon war and decades of bombing terrorist sites in response to terrorist attacks against Israel did a little to stop the terrorism and a lot to raise another generation of terrorists. So there need to be some smarter answers. The problem, of course, is that no one seems to know those answers.

Tolkien’s trilogy is worth rereading. It is a very Jewish view, though Tolkien was not Jewish. There are those (like the King of Rohan) who think that if they stay out of the fray, the war will pass them by. But they finally realize it won’t. Pacification just allows the monster to get stronger.

Here’s the bad news: The Lebanon and Iraq “wars” are not really distinct wars at all. They are merely battles in a larger and longer war that is being waged between the terrorists and everyone else.

Here are the lessons I learned from “Lord of the Rings”: To win, we will sometimes have to rely on military power. We will always have to be smart about how and who we fight. We will have to have our morals clear and stick to them. We will have to mobilize diverse yet strong alliances. And ultimately we will have to just keep at it, as Samwise tells his demoralized friend Frodo, because to give up would ultimately mean disaster not just for the U.S. and Israel but the rest of the world.



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Joey

posted August 24, 2006 at 2:14 am


I really think that long-term, if the Palestinians and other groups could get a state, in a generation most of the animus would be gone. But every time Israel makes a concession, the terrorists take advantage of it, and screw up the hoi polloi’s chances (albeit many of the people support them doing it), and so Israel is forced into more wars. Unfortunately, I don’t see this as being like LOTR; that book made war seem so easy. There were no innocent civilians for the good guys to kill in Mordor, and destroying one ring would wipe out all the evil. If only the Middle East were that easy. God bless.



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Iris Alantiel

posted August 24, 2006 at 4:07 am


I’m always impressed when people can apply Tolkien to real life. I’m not knowledgable enough about the Mideast situation to assess how much I agree with the comparison, but it was a fine literary reference all the same.



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Cheryl

posted August 24, 2006 at 4:13 pm


Wow! This is the kind of rhetoric that illustrates why peace in the Middle East is still so very far away. The Israelis are just peaceful, harmless Hobbits who are being attacked without provocation? The Muslims are mindless evil creatures, barely human like the minons of the Dark Lord, who will have to be utterly destroyed for peace to return to the land of the good? Until there is compassionate listening, deeply hearing the suffering of the other side and looking at ways to reach each other as human beings, there will not be peace. Each side is like the fighting children in the back of the car – neither can be willing to be the last one hit – that wouldn’t be fair! Negotiations are not entered into honestly, the attitude is skeptically cynical, each side still trying to get in that last hit for fairness sake – heck, when are there ever diplomatic negotiations even tried? Sadly, there is no motivation to stop the fighting. Until each side, or either side, can look at themselves has having the same potential for violence and the other side as having the same potential for good, there will not be peace.



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Deva Yogi

posted August 24, 2006 at 7:29 pm


I feel like Sam, because I know someday this will all end and we will live in happiness, that there is a happy ending to all this. We can’t carry the burden of either side anymore, so the world must ally itself with one side to finally help stop this world.



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pesele

posted August 24, 2006 at 7:56 pm


Nice going, Cheryl. Great rereading of the post. And fine “compassionate listening” on your part. But guess what? Rabbi Grossman NEVER ONCE used the word Muslim in her post. She castigated terrorist groups of several types (Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Quaeda, as well as states that support terror (Iraq and Syria). It is lovely to want peace and to support sitting down and talking about it. But that only works when you have a partner. There are possible partners for peace in the Middle East, but the ones mentioned by Rabbi Grossman aren’t them. They have repeatedly and explicitly called for the destruction of Israel on the one hand and Western culture on the other. Further, it is lazy and ultimately cynical to compare the Middle East to children fighting in the back seat of a car. It means you don’t have to learn the history or the context, you don’t have to discriminate between two rights and two wrongs–you can just say “let’s all get along” and shake your head at the violence. But that view is ultimately patronizing to and disrespectful of all parties concerned.



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Alicia

posted August 24, 2006 at 8:49 pm


On about 1970, when I first discovered the “Lord of the Rings,” I thought that a good movie could never be made of this wonderful book. Well, it took about 30 years, and I was in my late 40′s when it finally happened, but I lived to see Peter Jackson make a wonderful film version of the book. So, perhaps, if we are patient, there is also hope for peace in the Middle East. I agree that we (meaning the civilized world) are caught in a very difficult situation, caught between the ascendancy of the Shiites and the machinations of Wahabists and Islamists. And the indifference or open hostility of much of the world to the plight of Israel. I continue to support a two-state solution myself, and will begin supporting the Palestinian cause again when the Palestinians begin supporting a two-state solution as well.



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Cheryl

posted August 25, 2006 at 4:09 pm


It’s just as patronizing to claim that Israel is right and the rest of the Middle East is wrong. It’s not “tsk tsking” and wanting everyone to “get along” to know that both sides are responsible for the current situation. And yes, in a cease fire, someone has to receive the last fire and not fire back – as long as that feels unfair and unjust, peace isn’t possible. When any of us can dig deeper to find the root causes in our problems, we can actually solve the problems. When we blame someone else for our unhappiness, we’ll never find the answer.



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pesele

posted August 25, 2006 at 6:28 pm


It seems that the larger issue here is how we believe we can solve problems between groups. If I am reading you correctly, Cheryl, you believe that both sides are responsible for the current situation. The implication there is that to solve the problem both sides must cooperate. But if one side won’t (and you can even pick your favorite side here), how then do you solve the problem? The second half of the post argues that the answer lies within ourselves–that when we find the root cause of the situation, we can solve it. This is simply wrong. It is an appealing individualistic way to view the world, but it is wrong. Here are three examples of why. 1) this kind of thinking, at its most extreme, argues that diseases are products of thinking–that belief can cure cancer, for example. My point here isn’t either that the Middle East is like cancer or that Cheryl believes that belief can cure cancer, but rather that there are physical situations that need physical responses. A positive attitude can help, but it won’t replace medical treatment. (As is in Tom Lehrer’s line about the Christian Scientist with appendicitis.) 2) Jews in Europe during the Holocaust, Native Americans during colonial times, Blacks during slavery–all of these are examples of groups where changing attitudes wasn’t particularly helpful. All of these groups tried different tactics, sometimes as a group, sometimes as individual members of the group. All of them failed. And really, can you imagine using the phrase “When we blame someone else for our unhappiness, we’ll never find the answer” in any of these cases? 3) Here I get personal. This argument about”changing yourself” to solve the problem was used on me when I was being tortured in junior high. I was given all kinds of good advice about “ignoring the situation,” “laughing it off,” “understanding the other.” That was 35 years ago. I got over it. I got over it when I left the situation and when I grew up. It took me years to recognize that that the problem was in the structure of junior high and in the adults, who kept telling me to get along with a girl whose only goal was to torment me. Sorry–she got off on being mean. And, no, there was nothing I could do to change that. NOTHING. I’m sure she had her reasons, but they had nothing to do with me and there was nothing I could do to resolve the situation. The only solution was to get out, and of course, twelve year olds aren’t allowed to leave school. (Much later I homeschooled my children in part for this very reason.) I have long since forgiven the girl. I have not forgiven the adults who pushed the problem they should have solved back on an innocent twelve year girl. Obviously, none of the situations above are perfect analogies to the Middle East. But all of them are examples of why simply arguing that “both sides” are responsible isn’t always true. Nor is the idea that the “root cause” is within ourselves.



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Cheryl

posted August 25, 2006 at 6:59 pm


1) Being in the medical profession (hospice), I do not believe that thinking can cure cancer (what an odd train of thought there). However, anyone with cancer can look deeply to see the chain of causality that lead to their present circumstances. What they can do is find happiness in the present moment, regardless of their present condition. Happiness is found in peace – we can’t be given peace nor can anyone or anything take it away unless we let them. 2)I would recommend that you do some reading about the people who endured and survived those harsh realities. You’ll find that they will speak eloquently about their inner life – the stregth they found, the compassion they cultivated, and the forgiveness they gave. Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal is a powerful example of this. The Dalai Lama writes in the forward that he was most moved by a Tibetan monk who, when asked what he feared most during the invasion of Tibet by China when he and those around him were suffering, his answer was he was afraid he would lose his compassion toward the Chinese. If that doesn’t make you stop your self-indulgent anger and think, I’m not sure what will. 3) Of course, you (especially at 11) couldn’t change the bully who made you suffer. However, if you had the tools at the time, you could have learned to see her with the eyes of compassion. Unconditional love isn’t about endulging someone in their faults and loving them anyway in some kind of mindless ninny fashion. It is about seeing the causes behind someone’s behavior. When a bully of any age acts out, if we look at them with the eyes of our beloved teachers (God, Jesus, Mohammed, Quan Yin) we can glimpse the fear and suffering they are experiencing – fear and pain that they can only cope with through anger, violence, and making someone else suffer to try, and fail, to get relief. Someone in extreme pain may actually do their own body violence trying to escape that pain – but those measures don’t help because they don’t address the roots of the problem. Only when we find the true cause can we address what is wrong. When Israel and the Middle East fight each other, they are doing a violence to their own body. The are inter-connected and always will be. At any rate, we’re all people – whether we gather together in a group or live in a cave. We’re all interconnected to each other, too. When you were terrorized by a bully, there were many people who could have helped but didn’t. I’m sure, though, that if you found all of them today, they would be shocked that you harbor anger towards them and list them un-forgiven – they wouldn’t have seen that situation as something they should have been involved with. They might even say that working things out yourself was good for you. So, yes, the only thing any of us can do to make the world a better place is find peace within ourselves and put that peace into practice. The present is made of the stuff of the past – what else could it be made of? And it follows that the future will be made of the stuff of the present. If we make a choice that the present will be filled with love, compassion, and peace – what else could the future hold?



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pesele

posted August 26, 2006 at 7:35 am


Well, I appreciate that you believe deeply in what you do. But we’re talking past each other, sorry to say. I suspect that we could clarify some differences in person (though not all–I have read extensively in both race and Holocaust studies and “compassion” would not be the word that leaps to my mind after those readings), but that kind fo conversation doesn’t work so well in a combox. But I wish you well, particularly in the work you do.



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shelly

posted August 28, 2006 at 10:14 pm


Dear Cheryl, I gather that all your references of race hatred or antisemitism have been in books. If you had ever faced it more closely your thoughts may be a little different. During the holocaust millions of people died because they were Jewish, gypsies, mentally ill, gay, blind, deaf or had the wrong politics. It did not matter whether they were compassionate or forgave their killers or torturors as the case may be. My granmother was gassed at Auschwitz just because she was Jewish. My grandfather’s entire extended family was wiped out for the same reason. The enemy did not care and was not interested in saving life, just death and obliteration. Perhaps what you don’t understand is that the enemy today feels the same way. They will be happy to kill you because you are American and even happier if you are also Jewish. They are not interested in all your fine ideals just in winning on their terms. If you think I’m wrong check and you’ll see that this was reason that we now have Pakistan, and yet they still have problems in India even though the poor Muslims have a place to go. The violence of the Tamil Tigers in Thailand and Sri Lanka is not a bad dream – it exists and the Muslims in Thailand are definitely immigrants. The Chechnian rebels who took out that school and caused all that killing were Muslims. The Muslims in Germany who were demanding that the female teachers wear head coverings and not discipline their male students and never make any of the children especially the girls take gym,were certain that they would get their way as if they pull their chilren out of those schools, the schools would not have many children in them. They were probably shocked when they were told this would not fly and they could remove the chilren at any time. You are right about attitudes. I grew up being told that it takes two to make a fight. I assimilated that and believed it even when in third grade several of us children were stoned by other children at Easter for being Christ killers. Fortunately none of us were badly bruised physically. I am an adult now and know better. I did not deserve that kind of treatment. We did not fight back we ran and hid and came back to class after the recess bell rang.No one stopped it and no one was punished. As an adult, I don’t feel that I need to stand and “take it” and hope that will change the attitude of the torturor. I too have worked in the medical field in pathology – and I think there are many times that one needs to say if there is a cancer CUT IT OUT and then do what ever is necessary to stop its recurrance. Perhaps you need to study the situation a little more closely and then recheck your attitude!



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Rick Abrams

posted August 29, 2006 at 12:50 am


Let’s all jump on Cheryl; it’s so easy as she’s abysmally ignorant. Sad to say, the Cheryl’s of this world are a necessary diversion. Their cumulative ignorance can be deadly for us. I had a great-great aunt who was certain she could protect herself from any intruder by saying, “What would your mother say if she knew what you’re doing?” At that point she was sure he would be shamed into changing his evil ways. Compared to Cheryl my great-great aunt was worldly.



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Martha

posted August 29, 2006 at 8:50 am


I agree with Cheryl. I would like to understand the opposite point of view lay down by some people here, though. I want to put my question in realistic (practical) terms. Are you saying that if you “eliminate” (kill) all the Muslim extremists/or who disagree in Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, etc., or at least most of them, let’s say at least 90%, including their families (in order to be safe, and prevent the existence of the potentially “resentful” ), then the people of Israel and America are going to be safe and their children are going to be able to live peaceful lives? Are you saying that Israel and America are going to be safer and peaceful if you eliminate (that is kill) all of those who now you believe are your enemies, including their families and perhaps also eliminate those who somehow may support them in other countries (remember the European muslims, and perhaps some Venezuelans)? I don’t know, it is difficult for me to understand the logic: “kill them all” equal to “peace in the world”. It is also difficult for me to understand the practical aspects of it: how the rest of the people in the world is going to accept this solution because it is “good for Israel”, “good for America”, and is “going to make the world a peaceful place”. If that’s the case: do you think that such “peace terms” would really solve Israel’s problems with the Muslim world?



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shelly

posted August 29, 2006 at 5:40 pm


No, Martha, none of us said that – you did. I had only attempted to get Cheryl to understand that her slant on this is just a little tilted. Just standing there and letting someone hit you is not the answer. Ask any abused wife and she’ll tell you that. It just means the aggressor will hit you some more. Un-fortunately some people insist on living on a pink cloud and comfort themselves by saying if only everyone was more compassionate there would be no crime, no murders, no war and we would be happy with world peace. Most people would love to have world peace, but you have to work for it and you have to remember that some people actually love violence and dissension. What plans do you and Cheryl have for them? Will you ask them to hit the other cheek? Will you ask them to be compassionate and not hit the other cheek? You asked a lot of questions – now I’d like to hear what you propose as answers to your own questions?



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Rick Abrams

posted August 29, 2006 at 5:48 pm


Dear Martha, I concur with Shelly; your questions arise from your own mind and not from what has been proposed in this site. The question for me is: why do you project such horrible thoughts on to other people?



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Cheryl

posted August 29, 2006 at 9:21 pm


LOL… wow – who would have guessed that posting about working for peace on a religious site would be attacked with such vehemence? I shouldn’t laugh – it’s actually terribly sad. I guess I still have to believe that on some level you guys are putting us on. I’m anti-semetic? Clearly you didn’t read a thing that I wrote. Rick doesn’t think much of me – well, since I’m mirroring in my words the philosophy of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, let me weigh the results… having Rick appreciate me… practicing in the tradition of those great religious leaders… Rick.. the Dalai Lama… hmmmm guess I’ll have to not care too much about your disdain, Rick. I do feel genuinely sorry to my bones that people like you and shelly are so angry, so unforgiving, and so deeply wounded. Perhaps someday, you’ll see that no one can make you happy – only you can do that, and your inner happiness and peace has nothing to do with the actions of others. Or maybe not – better luck next lifetime, anyway.



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Martha

posted August 30, 2006 at 8:58 am


Shelly, Rick, As I said before, I was trying to get clear in my mind as much as possible, what is the alternative you are proposing to what Cheryl is saying. I am sorry, but it does seem to me that you both use too much rethoric and don’t get to the bottom line of what you are saying (or how it can be interpreted). Shelly: I know perfectly how one can be hurt by unfair rejection, I suffered it myself. And that is one of the reasons why I try to be compassionate towards those who are labeled “the enemy” by anybody. Shelly, for those Christian children, you were “the enemy”. For white racists, blacks are “the enemy”. Nowadays, other people is being labeled as “the enemy” as well. I distrust these labels by principle, since I have been too “the enemy” for some people who didn’t like my ethnicity. I don’t think I have more rights than anybody else to label some people and/or their children as enemies for whatever reason there is. Now, back to my “horrible thoughts”, that are only the product of some type of confusion about “what is really being proposed at this site” : I just don’t know how to decipher Shelly’s metaphor (if there is one) posted above: …”there are many times that one needs to say if there is a cancer CUT IT OUT and then do what ever is necessary to stop its recurrance”. How can you put this idea in plain language to help resolve the situation discussed in here? Please, indicate how “CUT IT OUT” is done, and how “do what ever is necessary to stop its recurrence” is accomplished.



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shelly

posted August 30, 2006 at 3:23 pm


Martha/Cheryl, You will only have world peace when everyone wants it, or when those who don’t are in a position where they are not able to hurt anyone. You can be very compassionate but that will not stop a suicide bomber from blowing you to smithereens. WE are talking about people whose culture says that if some creep rapes your daughter, she has brought shame on the family by being violated and so her family kills her.If you are caught stealing your hand is chopped off. If someone is weaker they are fair game, especially if they are infedels. Terrorists are not much on compassion. Have you not been watching tv? They have hacked several peoples heads off and made sure the media had pictures. Before you say this is just now because we are in Iraq, remember – 9/11, London, both the recent scare and the bombing incidents, the train blown up in Spain, the Locherbie jet, the marines that where blown up in Lebanon, the cruise ship where they compassionately killed an elderly man in a wheel chair and then threw him and the wheelchair overboard, etc., etc How do you propose to get world peace or convince Iran, Syria, etc and all the terrorist organizations to help you achieve it? What I would like is for the two of you to try a dose of reality and come up with something tangible instead of this ” just smack my other cheek” compassion. Shelly



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Cheryl

posted August 30, 2006 at 5:47 pm


shelly, If you would actually read my post, you would hear the proposal I’m making. When you skim the surface, decide I’m anti-semitic then it’s you being guilty of jumping to conclusions. Ironic, considering that I’m asking for each side to listen deeply to the other side. If we can’t learn to listen to others, why should they listen to us? If “they” believe we’re wrong, evil, and dangerous “they” will want to destroy us. Interestingly, you believe the situtation is analogous to cancer that needs to be “cut out” (your words). You’ve decided that the other side is dangerous, impossible to change, and only and eye for an eye will work. Why would anyone stop the fighting with those pre-conceptions? If you decide I’m “impossible” why would I change my view of you or want to be kind? How can answering fire with fire produce anything but ashes? You can’t force someone else to be compassionate. Only you can cultivate compassion in your own heart – it’s hard work and courageous not to take the easy way out and simply not respect, not treat kindly, or be violent toward someone who is that way toward you. The more compassion there is in the world, the more it will grow. I’ve had many personal experiences with people who were hard-headed, impossible to deal with, and just plain mean. Yet when I listened to them honestly, not trying to “answer” or reason with them, accepting them for who they are, I found my heart opening to their circumstances. Many of those folks deal with me in a very different way now, even saying that I’m the only one they trust. When Jesus talked about turning the other cheek, he wasn’t taking a milk-toast approach, he was taking the approach of ultimate bravery. What we do when we turn the other cheek is saying that my heart is an ocean of compassion, and your attack is simply a grain of salt. It won’t hurt me – the true me – and I can still have compassion for you. Not because I condone what you’re doing, but because I understand you’re doing that out of ignorance and fear. I also know that when you understand that hurting others is hurting yourself you will find your compassion growing as well. We all have the seeds of compassion and the seeds of the terrorist in us – it’s up to use to choose which of those seeds to water. It’s hard work and takes a lot of courage to listen, but it’s well worth it in the long run.



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shelly

posted August 30, 2006 at 8:42 pm


I just reread all the posts and no one called either of you antisemetic. You talk a lot about compassion, but when asked a direct question you hide behind the words of the Dalai Lama, etc. This “conversation” was not about what solutions Ghandi, Buddha, the Dalai Lama or the Pope would come up with, but rather since you feel compassion is the answer, how you would apply that as a solution. This conversation has never been about the Muslim community at large but about the terrorists, whatever name they use. You make a lot of assumptions, such as Rick was denigrating you, or that those of us who answered you and said things you did not like are suffering from bitterness and G-d only knows what else. Perhaps we are just staying on topic more than you are and applying a dash of reality. Are you volunteering to be captured and have your head sawed off? How do you plan to invoke all this compassion? and where? and with who? I am seriously interested in your solution and would love to read your answer.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted August 30, 2006 at 9:33 pm


To Martha and Cheryl, You seem to like simplified answers, so here goes: People have the R-I-G-H-T to C-H-O-O-S-E to defend themselves and that includes by high minded and oversimplified arrogance or by any means necessary to save the lives of their family. You D-O N-O-T K-N-O-W who or what you are talking about. Your philosophy only works between people who consider life worthwhile or sacred. Experiment with your own life and don t look down your nose at those who are not willing to allow mass genocide. The toughest choice was epitomized in Golda Meir s statement to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat: I can forgive you for killing our sons, but I can not forgive you for forcing us to kill yours. She, unlike you, understood the situation firsthand when she said: We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us. All the land for peace and road to peace summits that the four carpenters of peace (all from outside Israel, I d like to point out) can put together have not moved Israel O-N-E I-N-C-H C-L-O-S-E-R to peace in 40 years. How much death and carnage is enough for you? If you think you have all the answers, then stop wasting everyone s time and get over there and make a difference.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted August 30, 2006 at 10:13 pm


and if you think you know the Islamic Fascist mindset, I suggest you go into their schools, read their news releases or blogs and watch Arab television to be absolutely certain that you know how they really feel about peace with Israel, the US or even Christians at large for that matter. Here, I ll make it really simple for you: http://www.pmw.org.il/ Warning, it s very graphic, but you need to have a dose of reality. Maybe you are to young to know that after destroying Israel, the little Satan , they have vowed to destroy the US, the big Satan and all other Christians and we ve already seen attacks in Europe.



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Cheryl

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:00 pm


shelly, I did answer the questions, you’re just refusing to understand what I’m saying. You may disagree, it’s just a shame that you won’t even make an effort to understand a different point of view. You don’t consider this quote from Rick insulting? “Let’s all jump on Cheryl; it’s so easy as she’s abysmally ignorant.” Perhaps that’s also part of the problem – it’s ok to call someone ignorant if they disagree with you or with Israel. And Wanda, the reason I’m commenting on this thread is to point out that Israel isn’t perfect. They’re not the innocent hobbits that wouldn’t hurt a fly but are being attacked by people who don’t value human life and can never be reasoned with. As long as people believe that, there can not be peace. Israel is a player in this situation. They have made mistakes, they have committed acts of terrorism, and have pushed for policies that showed that they care more about real estate than people. Of course terrorism is bad, of course a philosophy of hate is wrong, but that’s true on both sides. Why is it so hard to even consider for a moment that both sides are made up of people – people who, while not perfect, do care about life and their children, do want justice and fairness, and ultimately want peace? Until you can see that the cause of terrorism has it’s roots in those positive things, you’ll never see a way out. The terrorist (who, if we approve of his or her politics is a freedom fighter) is doing what they think they have to to protect and defend their people and country. Such is the folly of violence.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:26 pm


“the reason I’m commenting on this thread is to point out that Israel isn’t perfect… As long as people believe that, there can not be peace.” If you entirely leave out your middle sentence, I can entirely agree with you. The exact nature of the problem is demanding Israel meet impossible and widely varying standards in order to be “allowed” to defend itself.



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shelly

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:17 pm


Cheryl, The problem is that you have not answered the question. You are saying love and compassion can cure all this. Okay how would you APPLY it? That is the question. Just saying love can make everyone happy won’t change anything. The early Christians may have gone into the arena prepared to love the lions, but the lions just thought of them as supper. There was no meeting ground there. Where would be the meeting ground between the terrorists and Israel? The other problem is that I think you are lumping everyone together – all Arabs in one camp and all Israelis in the other. Some of us are separating the terrorists from the common people. The Lebanese people I know love their children too much to send them out as suicide bombers. BUT the terrorists don’t feel that way. They are thinking in terms of dying as martyrs and having a wonderful afterlife. I was taught that we all, regardless of our separate faiths believe in the same G-d regardless of what we call that entity, and that each group is entitled to respect. Unfortunately not everyone feels that way. As human beings very few of us are ever entirely right, so I can agree that Israel may not always be right, but when you put them on one side of the scale and the terrorists on the other side of it, I think you’ll find far more fault on the terrorists side. you can start with their plan to drive all the Israelis into the Sea. Think about – then try and answer the question: How can you apply love/compassion to this problem in terms of a solution?



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Cheryl

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:19 pm


Interestingly, not all Israeli’s agree with their political leaders. I’m not over there. I think it would be better if the fighting stopped, but that isn’t my call, nor will I loose sleep if the fighting continues. I do know that peace is possible if the two sides would start listening to and appreciating each other, but that can only happen when each side stops buying into the lies they’re being told. Hopefully, someday the people will refuse to participate. It’s interesting to me to hear that my ideas of listening to each other and accepting their role in the conflict is met with such disdain and violent reactions. What harm would it do to try? The current fighting certainly isn’t working very well – if I’m so wrong, what is your answer?



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HASH(0x212c918c)

posted August 31, 2006 at 9:47 pm


After each of the peace talks, the Israelis gave up land for peace. The latest was removing Israeli settlers from Gaza so the Palestinians could have it. Have you noticed that it made anyone happier? Hamas is in that area and they behave as violently as usual. Perhaps that’s because they DO NOT WANT PEACE!!! They keep saying they want to push the Israelis into the sea!! How do you talk love and compassion with them. They are the lions in the arena and the Israeli refuse to be lunch.



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Steve

posted September 3, 2006 at 4:01 am


If we could just kill more of the other guys, we’d be OK. Someone had that answer 5,000 years ago and it hasn’t worked yet, so does it remain the answer? The Israeli national model seems to be working better that the Islamic model in an economic and military sense. This causes shame and humiliation. Can this be solved? Maybe not and maybe we’re condemned to wars without end. I don’t have a ready answer to that, but I don’t think war is the answer.



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Thomas

posted September 6, 2006 at 6:29 am


Tell you what! Let’s do a “WW2″ Special…Let’s drop the BIG BOMBS on all the right places. The method has had a very lasting effect,and undoub- tedly it would be most effective to- day. You know what your thinking, that’s right…There are no innocents. Its time to stop the Big, Long,and Doubble Talk, and settle it once and for all! Because, anniliation is all they(the whole lot) understand and accept. They are not the least bit interested in a way of life as we know it. So, let us grant them their eternal wish a whole lot sooner! The End!



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Thomas

posted September 6, 2006 at 7:32 am


To One and All on this Humane Site, Unfortunately, this is the solution you are all in search of,but nobody has the courage to state it. Just too many words too late for those who cherish death more than life. Time to negotiate has run out – And while the second “Manhattan Project” is being deployed their way – We must all pray that they surrender without a fight otherwise we will be witnesses to the demise of this enemy of man and G-d alike. And, if they donot surrender completely before the Big Bang…We will not bear any guilt and or blame as they enter eternal hell!



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