The Fire This Time In Israel

For the millionth time, Judaism is a religion, a very diverse religion with no centralized authority, and a wide range of divergent practices.

Israel is a political entity, a country, founded upon the premise that Israelis have a right to occupy the territory they purchased for cash, received as part of the Partition Settlement Plan, or won in combat, a time-honored tradition of the human race.

Israelis have the absolute right to defend themselves from foreign aggression and domestic violence, as all nations do, but Israel is the ONLY nation repeatedly excoriated for acting in self-defense.

All Jews are not Israelis, nor are all Israelis Jews.

There are Christian Israelis and Muslim Israelis.

There are in fact 1.6 million Palestinians living in Israel, where they vote, hold public office, serve in the Knesset and the military, and hold down regular jobs while living within the boundaries of the Israeli nation. They are not relegated to ghettos, except in the West Bank and Gaza, for which Jordan and Egypt are to blame, not Israel, because neither Jordan nor Egypt wants to confer citizenship on the Palestinians living in the territories.

That said, the Israelis really need to re-think their Gaza strategy because bombing and invading Gaza has now gone beyond punishing Hamas and is now punishing innocent Palestinians who are held captive by Hamas and rejected by Jordan and Egypt.

I have lived in both worlds, having worked for International Jewish organizations and having close ties with a number of Sufi orders, and doing both at the same time.
I haven’t got any answers for how to fix this mess. In the end, history teaches us that both sides will win but eventually both sides will lose. When the Palestinians lose, it’s a tragedy for them. When the Israelis lose, well, that’s Armageddon, a tragedy for the world.