An event happened a week ago that has changed the calculus of foreign affairs. The situation in Israel and Gaza right now is extremely perilous, not only for the people of those two regions but for the world.
Thanks for such a comprehensive text. I want to add, though, that nobody is born a terrorist. We must consider the historical factors and the Israeli government's responsibility, especially Netanyahu, who is their version of a Trump. The Israeli government has blood on its hands, and the world needs to call them accountable for this horrible butchery as well.
I invite everyone here to pray with me for ALL the innocent people in this senseless needless conflict: May there be miracles of safety, protection, love, refuge, & peace for ALL the innocents, Palestinians & Israelis alike, and may the world hold only intentions & deeds of Peace, Love, Harmony, and Brotherhood for Palestinians & Israelis .
Please extend an amplify your messages of love as perfectly demonstrated in the your morning meditations. "No matter what the problem, the solution is love." Marianne Williamson
We fully share your point of view and thank you warmly for it... Now we must try the impossible.
We also would like to share with you an article by our friend Nitsan Joy Gordon, author of the book "Together Beyond Words - Women on a Quest for Peace in the Middle East", for which you kindly wrote the foreword.
She lives in northern Israel, 6 km from the border with Lebanon. It was published yesterday in The Jerusalem Post and is entitled: "The path to peace: Where do we go from here?"
In the article, she says: In the midst of this terrifying reality, our Arab-Jewish, Israeli-Palestinian playback theater group had decided to postpone the meeting that was scheduled for last Sunday. I spoke with my Arab co-leader, and at first she said, “Maybe we should wait until things calm down.”
“No, let’s meet today,” I replied, “because it is so important to connect, especially now when things are so difficult.”
She then said, “You know, now I understand why I do not want to meet. I don’t want to meet myself. I don’t want to feel the shame of being connected to the perpetrators. That my people, the people I identify with, whose struggle I support, who could do such horrible things. On some level it is so much easier, so much less painful, to be the victim and receive all the compassion. It is too painful to feel this shame, to see what my people are capable of doing.”
I could not speak for a moment. My eyes filled with tears.
Then my heart expanded. I know that nothing could ever justify the horrendous deeds that Hamas has committed. I also know that I do not want my heart to be closed to the suffering of others, like the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
The article: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-767869
Her Book: https://leseditionsdunona.com/en/together-beyond-words-eng/
I'm visualizing a Dept of Peace
with MAW at its helm ❤
Marianne - this one of the most beautiful, heartfelt and intelligent statements I have seen on this subject. I remember getting a letter from you about about your trip to Israel at the end of 2022. How deeply you understood the heart of this situation and how thoroughly you grasped its complexity.
When Hamas invaded Israel last weekend, you were the first person on my mind.
When you chose to take your time to absorb the shock of the attack and the enormity of the consequences for it, I was grateful for your restraint. I knew we would hear from you.
You didn't disappoint me in my patience. This... is truly *special.
I am almost 70 years old, and have seen many Presidents come and go. Every SINGLE time, they have a huge agenda, a lot of politics in play to "get things done" and a lot on their plate as they go about their business. Inevitably, during the last 6 months of their time in office, they try to do "something" about the Middle East. Because so much needs doing and all of it is impossible.
JUST ONCE, I would like to see an American President put this issue front and center, commit to it as thoroughly as all the other shennanigans that go on in Washington DC, and lead the world toward a truly peaceful and equitable solution. It would mean asking a stellar person to serve as State Dept head, and an equally stellar person to serve as US ambassador to the UN.
This is not just an American problem. It's a world problem. It calls on a Worldwide solution, fueled by understanding the grave peril of leaving things as they are, coupled with a genuinely ecumenical understanding of the way that religion (one thing) and faith (quite another) play into the conflict.
I don't know that you are the right person for the POTUS job but I actually think you may be just the right person to be a special envoy to begin this process. I believe this so thoroughly that I am going to send a cc of this to the current POTUS and ask him to consider your ideas, and your person, carefully.
And yeah, I used to think the Department of Peace was a hokey hippie idea.
But now, I think it's literally the only thing that could save this planet from unimaginable horrors.
Much love to you, my dear, and thank you for a stunningly beautiful take on this awful situation.
Marianne I’m so grateful for your writing. I came across it in tears over all the suffering and in dread about what seems to be planned for next. These last several days I’ve written several poems decrying cruelty and violence and calling on us to use our higher faculties to arrive at real and viable solutions in our world. And I’ve written out a proposal for what I feel could be a viable 2 State solution. I was heartened by Biden saying he supports the rights of the Palestinian people and that they are not Hamas. And that he also spoke of the laws of war. I wish the news coverage had picked up on these important points.
Beautiful message Marianne.
The emperor of endless war is naked
Even the cries for retribution have no clothes
We’ve been here before
In most if not all circumstances
War begets war.
Peace is preferred and entirely possible
Because in most if not all circumstances
War is hell
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go. Pablo Neruda
"While it is often stated – incorrectly – that the goal of Israel is the extermination of the Palestinians..."
With All Eyes on Gaza, Israeli Soldiers and Settlers Kill Dozens of West Bank Palestinians
"Many Israeli settlers have openly called for Palestinians to be wiped off the map," said one advocacy group. "Now, Israel is giving them the guns to achieve that vision."
There are extremists on both sides. Netanyahu is one of them.
Marianne, your compassionate assessment of this sorrowful situation is correct. I am including here a great objective piece of writing from within Israel--from an objective magazine that includes journalists and writers both Jewish and Palestinian. It's excellent and speaks truth to power. Keep your voice and health strong. Joan Halgren
Whose job is it right now to decide what to do about Hamas and Israel? (and for Ukraine and Putin and his cronies) Does anybody know? What is the “right” plan?
For most of my life, I have focused a lot of attention and thought on how we can bring more peace and love to the world: nations respecting one another, accepting and honoring their differences of opinions and beliefs, ending wars and other evils.
For most of my life, I have been so naïve as to think that the right people could bring opposing sides to the table and mediate peace and promote that love and respect between those parties.
I finally realize that there are people who are steadfastly evil. They do not have love or respect for others. They have no interest in peace and harmony. That is not their mode of functioning. They may not have the emotional maturity and self esteem to give love and care. It is ignorant to think that we would transform their perception and way of operating in this world. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an attempt. But so many times, that approach has proven to be futile.
Then, how do we fix the problem? How do we protect so many innocents from these evildoers? Do we perpetrate the same evils upon them, and become evildoers ourselves?
Let us not overlook the actual condition of humanity. Even those of us who consider ourselves peaceful and loving, may still be participating in evils through our support or condoning of activities, from enslaving (in horrid conditions), murdering, and eating other animals, to withholding critical care for those less fortunate and those suffering from mental health conditions. Let’s not kid ourselves and think we are perfect examples, though we may be among the most kind and loving people and with the best intentions to continue to grow and effect more positive change, more peace, more love, more compassion in the world. Yes. Most of us are not perfect, but wonderful.
How righteous are we in response to such heinous acts? Who are we to address appropriately the evils that some perpetrate? I really do like to believe that a great portion of humans have evolved to the point of being loving and compassionate at heart, while also being intelligent and observant, and having the ability to promote peace. The problem is that most of us with that capacity are not also seeking to be in positions of leadership or power in government, and thus not able to more effectively facilitate the kind of change needed in society. Yes, we need more compassionate leaders with strong integrity and will, so they can resist corruption and greed. There is corruption in public office, so it can scare a lot of good people off. We need to support our good politicians, dissuade and eliminate harmful lobbying, especially for corporations engaged in detrimental activities. And we need to halt the “war machine” corporate profiteering grasp on our military.
Greed should not be the virtue that it has become in our American society- a life of having excess, and putting oneself “above” others. This is not so present in every culture and nation in the world. We (in the USA) have slowly evolved as a society further and further towards the toxic and divided one that we find ourselves in. And it will be a slow and gradual process to find our way back, if we can establish that overarching goal and mindset. I’m not a socialist, and do not want socialized medicine without private options for insurance and care, for example. I believe in basic capitalism, but NOT unchecked. We have allowed capitalism and corporations to essentially take over our government. Not good.
How then, to address the evils and wars at hand?
I am not a military strategist or an expert in social reconstruction. But I have studied a lot of psychology and sociology. I think we have to consider what used to happen on a smaller scale in most societies. If a member of the village or tribe did not live up to the societal expectations or perpetrated a crime against humanity, then they were outcast. They did not have support from the society. They were not welcome. People had to conduct themselves properly and treat others with respect and kindness in order for their own needs to be met. Also, when a member of society (in most cultures) demonstrated emotional or mental challenges early on, they were given support and guidance. Many large societies are failing in this area now. Maybe it’s the distractions from media and technology and the busied lifestyle- nobody has time for as much human interaction anymore? But this is a huge problem. We have to get to the root of the problem as much as addressing the huge problems at hand, such as the conflicts/wars happening now.
And isn’t the NATO approach to a group or state perpetrating crimes against humanity generally to restrict that evildoer’s access to financial means and basic necessities? Don’t we cut them off from that flow of goods and services until peace is achieved? And, then don’t we NATO members collectively send in military personnel to defend the innocents? Can we stick to defending ourselves and innocents, and refrain from enacting widespread violence, limiting (hopefully preventing any) killing of innocent people in the process? I do not believe in killing except if necessary for self-defense or in defense of innocent others. It is essential to ensure that good can potentially prevail against evil, right?
I believe that what is also most critical is that each society have enough members who actually model love and compassion and respect for different spiritual beliefs and other diversities, to the point where that becomes the norm and intolerance is unacceptable. Societies simply need to live up to the virtues and values that are written in their own founding doctrines, constitutions. People who study theology will also recognize that those virtues are universally the same.
We have to call out groups like Hamas for their hypocrisy- over and over again. Say it out loud 1 billion times, all around the world! Put them in their place! They are liars and murderers! It’s that simple! They are not accepted members of society. They need to rethink their lives as individuals, obviously, as people who have been brainwashed and turned into evil monsters. Again, it’s that simple! Perhaps some of those individuals can be given loving support and guidance on their path to redemption, if they seek it.
The same goes for many others, including people in our own US government. When we catch our politicians lying, stealing, or collaborating to cause detriment to innocent people, they should be ousted from their position of leadership. So simple! When they are engaged in activities that promote harm to the environment and people, they need to be gone- out of office. They need to start over, doing the right thing. Most people can better themselves if they care enough. And they might not care enough if they are continually rewarded (allowed to stay in office, receiving high salary, and other benefits), for doing the wrong things. So easy.
That’s it for now. I don’t have all the answers, I am sure. But these things just seem so simple to me. I am disgusted and heartbroken that our society has gotten so far out of control and that, in 2023, it’s the same old story as far as wars over religious ideals, greed, or thirst for power. I suppose we have not really evolved as much as we like to think we have. But I believe we have the intelligence and technology to do so. Do we have enough desire to do so?
So good to hear a balanced & fair response from a potential world leader (fingers & everything crossed!!). But what virtually no one mentions the forced - violent - expulsión of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland in order to establish the state of Israel, a land grab as I see it and the killing of 15,000 Palestinians in murderous raids and massacre. A very bloody start for a new state which seeded much of the hatred which now exists. And of course from then on there has been an effective apartheid state with innocent Palestinians living under intense restrictions. Forceable displacement - which is illegal under international law continues to this day - between 2009 and 2022, at least 8,413 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israeli forces, displacing at least 12,491 people.
Some 750,000 Israeli settlers live in at least 250 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Perhaps the most relevant fact that isn't being talked about is that since 2008, Israel has waged four wars on the Palestinian territory, killing more than 4,000 people.
None of this excuses Hamas's barbaric attack on innocent Israeli's but it goes some way to explaining their anger, their fury and their stated objective.
But Hamas is NOT elected and NOT the democratic representative of the people of Palestine.
Context is important and Israel needs to look not only to the past but to the present and how it's actions are fueling organisations like Hamas. The state of Israel is not an innocent bystander but plays an aggressive part in this desperately sad and tragic play.
My heart goes out to ALL who have died thus far in this horrendous situation. 🙏😢
Thank you for making the whole situation more clear to me. And bringing a hope and healing tone to the insanity of war itself. Also - bringing out the humanity - as your conversation in the airport with that gentleman shows - that we are all good deep down, and connect on that sacred basis for world peace.
Question, how can you stand with Israel (the government that is supporting the genocide of an entire people) while also saying you support Palestinians?