Saturday, May 26, 2007

Talking about Peace - Israel/Palestine ??

After a several hour discussion with my brother-in-law and my mother about Israel/Palestine I'm tired. My brother-in-law's mother lives in Northern Israel and has been there recently. He talks of a world view where Israel wants peace but the Palestinians prevent it.

We agree on the need for a Palestinian state including Gaza and the West Bank - with secure borders and a true peace. Jerusalem - he says Israel will never give up any of. I don't know how Jerusalem can be resolved between mutually exclusive demands of both sides.

I see a need for trust building. I see a need for American Jews to confront the U.S. Government and help change how the U.S. Government treats the Israeli Governent as well as others in the Middle East. He believes that I am wrong in opposing Israeli Government positions.

It is hard to face the truths of the divides among American Jews. Building peace will take time and breaking down barriers between us. It will be hard to imagine a peace when "liberals" like my brother-in-law and I disagree as strongly as we do.

Listening to each other is important. Talking with each other is important. Thanks!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Must be Confused - RE: Israel, Fatah, Hamas etc.

Per Scott Wilson of the Washington Post proximate to May 18, 2007:

"Israel this week allowed the Palestinian Fatah faction to bring into the Gaza Strip as many as 500 of its troops trained under a U.S.-coordinated program, to counter Hamas, the Islamic movment that won Palestinian parliamentary elections last year."

"The troops deployment illustrates the increasingly partisan role that Israel and the Bush administation are taking in the volatile Palestinian political situation."

"But both Israel and the United States, each deeply unpopular among Arabs in the region, have been trying to avoid the perception of taking sides in a conflict that this week in Gaza has resembled a nascent civil war."

Hmmmmmm - Let's assume that several of the major leaders of countries in Europe were to decide that they should fund one of the major Democratic Party candidates (indirectly of course - in "legal ways") and provide a clear platform allowing she or he to get a lot more positive publicity. They would be presuming that it would be in their best interests (and the rest of the world's of course!), if a Democrat, and this particular one, were to be elected.

I presume that our current administration would admire their pluck and sadly say: "We tried to get their support for a Republican, but unfortunately they wouldn't support Him."

Now let's, see: Arafat was a corrupt dictator and not one to be trusted. His successor wasn't seemingly corrupt, but he couldn't bring things together before the elections and bring about any kind of "successes" with Israeli and USian authorities.

Democracy is the Answer in the Middle East. Oh, my gosh, why did those crazy Arabs elect Hamas? Couldn't they see how WE in the U.S. were doing everything in our power to create a viable Palestinian State under Abbas, the Fatah candidate.

Oh, he lost political power with the election results, yet we still: "Israel this week allowed...."

Now of course Israel might possibly have had the support of the U.S. Government in this, don't you think!?


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When We Hurt

Today is my 56th Birthday.
The weather has changed from yesterday's warmth and sunshine to today's coolness and clouds.
Our house has some type of sewer related problem which will hopefully be fixed within the next few hours.
I'm behind on sleep and feeling very tired.
I'm also sad.

When I am hurting
It may be
because of something unexpected like
a friend who has been hit by a car
or something expected like
the recent death of my aunt - cancer related
It may be because of something or somethings
which others have done to me

When I am hurting
I have hurt
the one I love
I have failed
I have made
major mistakes
the one I love
I am sad.

I reflect
and hope
I will do better
moving ahead
at age 56,

Using perceived hurts
or Other Pain
to Falsely Justify
Hurting Others

I'm glad
to have the chance
to Do Better

May my 56th Birthday
A Day of Growth
A Day of Hope
A Day to Reflect
and perhaps to be Sad

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Caught Amongst the Trees

Caught amongst the

tangled branches of

the large dark tree

Seeking the breath

of the cool forest

Moving outside –

- Also inside


much patience, energy,

thought – and


Some Luck

The perspiration drips

from the upper branches

The whispers of the wind

move in slowly with their

sweet, but subtly strong energy

Tis “only” nature – but

Is it really a tree? Or

Rather – human nature


Friday, May 04, 2007


Respect is something that comes back time and again in my life.

Yesterday, my mother's 80th birthday, which meant something to her. To her aging husband it meant things perhaps in moments, but Not when he felt "wronged" or otherwise not feeling any need to defer to her feelings. For her respect comes in moments countered with periods when she doesn't matter. This, of course, hurt her, though it is little different from how it's been over the 34 years they've been together.

When my partner and I have our difficulties communicating nearly always each of us feels that the other isn't honoring and respecting the other. Not feeling heard and having one's words or feelings accepted as valid and important (in one's mind at least) is common in our relationships and our world in general.

Respect is accepting the other, whether an individual, a group, a nation, or whatever. Respect is not knowing what is best for the other. It is not knowing what the other should be feeling. It is not knowing what is best for the other.

Respect for others comes out of groundedness and respect for oneself. When I (or We) feel deep pain and hurt inside we can not respect ourselves. When we can't live comfortably within ourselves, it is doubly hard to support others. Being able to escape the "me, me, me" feeling of neediness isn't always easy for us as individuals or groups or countries we are a part of. The religious dogmas which tell us: "you are better than all the others" can feed zenophobia and hatred among people who feel attacked. Economic inequalities and often related political exploitation fuels dissonance among those who "succeed" and those who are put down.

Among those who are a "minority" or feel that way respect among their fellow group members is often very important to cope with the dominant culture. Nearly all, if not all of us feel like we are a "minority" in some parts of our lives. When we don't see ourselves as a minority, we often don't feel a wholesome pride in our culture and being.

I hope naively perhaps that we will find better ways to respect each other in the future. IF we do we may deal with how we in the U.S. abuse children, women, Muslims and others perceived as Muslims, People of Color, Gays/Lesbians/Bi's/Transgendered Folks and many others.

It is hard for people to heal their hurts. We can say we are sorry. We can also work to change the systems that cause the hurts.