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Middle East Crisis: Eye of the Storm - by Helga Marion Ross
Of course there is a win-win solution.
It will be found in doing what is morally right for both sides.

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

Helga's Heartlines: A Journal

April 7, 2002.

Like the rest of you, the world at large, Iíve been increasingly alarmed by the escalating violence in the Middle East during the past weeks. Iíve also seen the toll this worry was taking on my psyche.

Feeling powerless to do anything about it, Iíve made a decision to pull back emotionally. Such inner turmoil on my part is fruitless, demoralizing and energy-draining. Emotionalism is not what the situation calls for.

Not to say Iíve traded anxiety for playing the Ostrich Game: I donít prefer the self-protection of pretending or ignoring the situation. On the contrary, I see that it's critical to become all the more rational, objective and fully informed. This is the best and most constructive thing the global community, from its relatively safe and comfortable distance, can do.

I stay glued to CNN. I read a variety of sources - newspapers, columnists, editorials - regularly, to get the widest possible perspectives on the crisis. I ask for othersí points of view, explore their opinions, ideas and options, engage in debate.

Concerned at first, then verging on depressed by the turn of events, nevertheless, rarely do I allow myself to be brought down by feelings of distress or negativity for long. Thus hearing echoes of these same sentiments from esteemed experts on the subject reinforced for me the urgency of some kind of immediate relief, if not remedy. I realized it is all too easy to succumb to despair and hopelessness, to get caught in the ratcheting-up of incendiary rhetoric, knee-jerk responses and justifiable if overwrought passions.

So, like they say about the calm at the eye of a hurricane, I have tried to center myself by looking inward for answers. There is nowhere else safe and sensible in which to retreat. The outward manifestations are misleading and reflexive; they disguise cause and effect, subvert notions of good and evil, demonize and glorify violence indiscriminately, and transmute murder into martyrdom. Where does the circle of blame start and the cycle of hate stop?

Try it. Things are so much clearer seen from this spiritual quiet place. I see so clearly from here. The first signs of serenity emerge. I am calmed. There is reason to hang onto faith.

What do you do with Right versus Right? Both sides are Right. At least, both sides have legitimate grievances and claims. From here, I see no reason why a peaceful resolution cannot be realized. Of course there is a win-win solution. It will be found in doing what is morally right for both sides. For this to evolve, each side must be willing to compromise. Each will gain what they most dearly wish for by giving up some things important, but not essential. This is real life, folks, the way the real world works. The way relationships work. The sooner both parties realize this the sooner they will realize their desired-for results.

Arab terrorists: Iíve got news for you. Israel wonít go away! You might as well accept it. You will not drive her into the sea or efface her from the continent. Your terrorist bombs will only backfire on you, as they are right now.

Israelis: You will never know peace unless there is a Palestinian State. Likely, there will be some transfer of populations. It is only reasonable that Jewish settlers withdraw from the West Bank while many Arab Israelis will no doubt wish to be part of the new Palestine. Similarly, Jerusalem belongs to all three great religions and cultures and cannot be the exclusive domain of only one. Israel does not have sole claim to this territory.

Personally, I care genuinely about the well being of both civilian populations. I want to see them both have their States and live side by side in peace and prosperity. For peace to be permanent and aggrieved partiesí wounds to be healed once and for all, a friend and Ďguruí of mine, Richard Rockwell, makes a very good point, one which I wonder has ever been proposed. Itís so simple and logical from where I sit, now:

"What if I moved into your house; kicked you out and then I "yearn for peace". If only you would accept the theft of your home, there would be no problem.

If only the Arabs would accept the theft of their land by the Jews, there would be no problem.

Another way of viewing this is, "If only the Jews would pay for their land, there would be no problem".

I think the US [and Israel] should build the homes for the Arabs, which would be a lot less expensive than what we have now."

This solution is only fair and right, Richard, my friend, looking objectively. Thank you for suggesting it.

I am a friend of Israel; I firmly believe in Israel and its right to exist. However, I, we, must keep in mind that from the Arab point of view, Europe, with the help of America, solved its Jewish refugee problem by foisting an unwelcome Jewish State into the midst of a displaced Arab population. This State had more moral claim to Bavaria or a large chunk of West Germany, one might well argue. Itís time the Jewish Homeland was paid for through fair financial recompense and practical physical help, rather than blood. Reparation and reconstruction would go a long way to removing the sting of the terrorist wasp.

Like I have, I recommend you take a dispassionate look through the lens of your Inner Eye and perhaps you will see equitable solutions that I have not seen. Or you will see what I see and be accepting. We will pray for peace and then we will find it.

~ Helga Marion Ross ~

Copyright 2002

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