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Thoughts of Palestine, Israel, and Our Interrelated Reality



Nearly two weeks ago, Hamas's surprise strike on Israel in resistance to Israel's decades long occupation captured much of the world's attention. Since then, there have been demonstrations worldwide both for and against either side of the conflict. The conflict is a perilous situation for the people who live in Gaza and our planet.


Our human three-dimensional thinking probably will help no one. Only by recognizing that genuine solutions must come from a spiritual place is there hope for what appears to be a hopeless, intractable situation.


This is a highly emotional issue, particularly for the parties directly involved – the Palestinians and Israelis. Many people around the world, not directly affected, have strong opinions as to who is to blame for the carnage taking place, and that continues to have a devastating impact on the members of our human family. And anyone who takes one side or the other is likely to be attacked unmercifully by those with another point of view.


Assuming the reports are accurate (in today’s environment of misinformation, it is imperative to critically analyze every piece of news we get), it is my opinion that Hamas's actions do little to bring about justice or fulfill the aspirations Palestinians seek.


At the same time, it is impossible to overlook the plight of the Palestinians, including decades of violent occupation, cutting off food, water, and electricity and the forced removal of up to one million Palestinians from the only home many of them have known. Both innocent Palestinians and Israelis are paying a horrendous price for what has happened and continues to happen.


We may ask, “What does this have to do with me? Why should I care? After all, I’m 7,000 miles from where all this is taking place.”


The most appropriate response to these questions is probably in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, written 60 years ago:


"In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men [and women] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
This is the inter-related structure of reality."

We may not have the human solution to the challenge humanity faces in Gaza. But we can do our part by being and living our lives as we want to see reflected in our world. We can listen to understand rather than wanting to be right. We can hold the high watch and do our part to support a world that works for everyone and knows no matter how intractable a problem may be, there is always a divine solution.


I came across a story about a woman who was sitting in an airport and engaged in a conversation with a man who sat next to her. They talked and enjoyed their conversation. The woman, a Jew, shared in the story that the man told her he was a Palestinian-American. The woman noted that their interaction reminded them of how the world should be.


The experience this Jewish woman and Palestinian-American man had is what we aspire to achieve for our world. Let us do our part to make it happen.


Peace and Blessings,

James Trapp

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