A friend recently wrote me, feeling helpless and unsure what to *do* with the current situation in Gaza/Israel. This promted me to reply from a heartfelt place that I thought more of you may enjoy to read.
My friends' question:
I am feeling very very sad and quite tormented really by the tragedy of Gaza. I have given myself the time to fully immerse myself in this issue as this horrific war has unfolded these last weeks...and the more I've read the more tormented by this issue I've become. ...I have really wanted to try and understand how a people who've been so persecuted themselves can become so brutalised and do this to others. Anyway my question to you is: - what can I do to contribute to resolving this terrible situation? - Can you see that things can change and there can be a just resolution? thank you for any insights …:
I can appreciate and empathize with your sentiments, as I am sure many, many people are feeling something similar.
We are living in rather unusual times where we have access to such a variety of media – however, much of it is still dominated by a few. I am sure from your own background in journalism you are familiar with this. The internet does allow a wider variety of options to be shared and the voice of the minorities to be heard, which is wonderful, refreshing, and new territory. Yet, even with this "freedom," the mainstream press dominates the world arena in terms of what is "news" and therefore what captures our attention.
I say this as I am aware from people on the ground in both Israel and in Gaza that there is a strong movement of Jewish people (and Palestinian) who are repelled by what is happening, who are outraged by their own government. It simply is not making headline news, and even in their own country this is suppressed. One needs either to know people or to seek more the underground news stories … I add a few links of ones that have passed my way in the last 24 hours.
On another note, yes it is shocking that so many Jewish people, not only those in Israel but in many locations, hold this view that persecution of Palestinians is needed and is "normal." Yes, that is the mainstream ideology. I consider this as the construct of conditioning that has happened repeatedly in the history of humanity. The most obvious historical similarity is that of Christianity – persecuted first by the Romans and, in the following centuries, persecuters themselves of so many other minorities in their "way" of dominance. It is unfortunately the shadow side of humanity. Unless we collectively shift in consciousness this cycle is likely to continue to be manipulated …
What can we do? Quite a bit actually …
First, to be aware not to perpetuate the cycle and now persecute those who are supporting and facilitating such atrocities toward their fellow human beings. It is this game of "tit for tat" persecution that has been present for thousands of years that we have to consciously shift from. Can we be open to our own vulnerability? To feel the pain, the horror we may feel and at the same time hold the space and deeper knowing that "they know not what what to do/say." This is not giving support for the perpetrators, it is acknowledging that they act from an unconscious and unaware state. (This is relevant not only to Israel/Palestine, but also in Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Afganastan, Iraq, and on and on.) If we are truly in a higher state of being, we cannot kill another human being, even if they hold a gun to our head … they are our brother, our sister, a part of us …
This for me, leads to the deeper point. We all (I would say 99.9% of the population) have conflict within ourselves, a war within. What we judge, what we want to dominate or "get rid of," what we do not accept in ourselves. We can start with our own conflicts, to explore forgiveness, acceptance and inclusion, to experiment with self love, kindness to ourselves. Plus to look about in our own immediate life situations for who and what can we make peace with. We all have someone/something that we can make a next step with.
For most of us it is not appropriate to go directly into the war zone of Israel/Gaza or the other hot war zones, but we can look into our own war zones and consciously explore what it means to bring about peace. What positions or beliefs do I need to shift or let go of, to make space for a peaceful integration and coming together in my own life situation? Every time we make a step, take responsibility to step out of the victim/perpetrator cycle, we make space for wholeness, for what we can call peace.
It does make a difference. When we can speak from our own authentic experiences of making peace it has a wider audience. People resonate, they listen. Plus, our own vibration of integrity is honored and radiates.
These conversations are starting, they are happening about the planet. They maybe only small in sound right now, and they do need support – seek them out, bring your own voice to the conversation from your own personal experiences. As our voices join together we do bring about another possibility … voice by voice, step by step.
I hope and trust my words here can be a support … thank you for asking, it moved me to tune in to write and will share this about more widely (without the personal reference to you, but I will include the main part of your question if you do not mind?) sending warm hugs and love, Kira
(this one is from personal contact, the woman Sabine Lichtenfels is contributing to peaceful action)
Another very inspiring documentary of adversaries forgiving each other: