Imagine three siblings fighting for their entire lives only to pass on the spirits of indifference, hatred and violence to their children. Although all three were conceived in the same womb and grew up professing undying love for their mom, they nonetheless make a mockery of her existence by tearing each other apart as they wield weapons to bash one another. You don’t really have to imagine this hypothetical scenario because what I just described is the senseless violence that has been at the root of the three “major religions” as Jews, Christians and Muslims have taken turns bludgeoning each other for more than 1,400 years.
Though all three faiths are built on the central tenets of compassion and the teachings of prophets in the Torah, Bible and Quran all implore their respective followers to be charitable and forgiving towards fellow humans, organized religion and the heirs of the very people who persecuted and killed honorable messengers of peace continue to abort the primary command of Yahweh, God and Allah which is love. Brothers against brothers, sisters fighting sisters, families torn asunder and neighbors bashing one another; it’s like we are living through a prophecy that was written a long time ago as the world churns and burns fueled by the pervasive indifference and anger that have become endemic of our time.
Every corner of of our planet has been touched by this viruses of pride, callousness and antipathy; generations of indoctrination that conditioned us to believe in “us versus them” dogmas are boiling over as innocent men, women and children are being chewed up and spit out by the machine of war and the machinations of politics. Nowhere is this more evident than in Israel as decades of mutual distrust and acrimony is threatening to plunge the entire region into uncontrollable chaos and upheaval. A shot fired today could lead to intercontinental ballistic missiles flying tomorrow; World War I started over a localized assassination that quickly devolved into a global conflagration.
The origins of the unending rampage between Jews and Muslims in Israel and Palestine can be traced back to the the decision King Solomon made to build a grand temple. It’s eventual destruction became a basis of a revelation that all three faiths believe is coming in the near future; a lot of the fundamentalists are pushing conflicts in Jerusalem is to speed up this development. The tragic thing is that King Solomon was never supposed to build a mega-church, the temple he was supposed to build were the people who were looking to him for guidance. The same way politicians continue to build libraries and towers in their names, Solomon’s ego led him to construct a cathedral and set into motion a clash that is still haunting the Middle East and the world to this day.
What is inflaming passions and sparking this latest round of gruesome bloodshed is the same reason why wars never end. Israelis and Palestinians both feel like they are the aggrieved party and that the other side is the personification of evil. This perpetual strife is sustained with each successive generation; it is very hard to humanize people when you are conditioned from childhood demonizing them. Death begetting death, pain birthing pains; like two eagles locking talons in mid-flight, they are crashing to the ground while clawing at each others eyes while in freefall.
JUST IN – Clashes and riots erupting in multiple mixed cities in Israel now. Both Israelis and Palestinians take the law into their own hands.pic.twitter.com/wQ6OeXIVn6
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) May 12, 2021
When nuance is abandoned, solutions become impossible. Conversations that could offer a path forward are blocked by zealots who prosper while the vast majority suffer. Assigning collective guilt is immoral yet that is precisely what is taking place between Jews, Christians and Muslims as each sect absolves themselves of any faults while pointing fingers at the “other side”. I don’t hide my feelings about Zionism and the bigotry behind it but I don’t castigate all Jews for the sins of a few who perpetuated this racist philosophy upon the world anymore than I blame all Muslims for the barbarity of Osama bin Laden and terrorists who hijack the concept of Jihad—which is a struggle between good and evil within our hearts—into a pretext to blow up innocent people.
The inability to make a distinction between a repugnant cabal who bleed humanity and the rest of us who are almost powerless to do anything about it is the reason why the 1% are omnipotent and why nearly 8 billion people have become utterly impotent. The easiest way to control people is to manipulate them emotionally; this playbook of enrage and derange has been used successfully by the ruling class throughout the scope of history yet we keep falling for the same hoodwink only to walk further away from justice as we march intoxicated by grievances.
Yesterday evening, I wrote about how my birthland Ethiopia is being ravaged by a must virulent form of tribalism and teetering at the precipice. A country that survived intact for more than 3,000 years is in the process of disintegrating because too many have been convinced that the enemy are fellow strugglers while foreign smugglers fleece all blindly. This same disease of alienation and malice is tearing apart America and countless nations throughout the world. Political leaders, who are actually chummy behind the scenes, keep convincing people who share divergent adversities that have the same source—this is the definition of self-nullification.
I don’t know when we will learn and stop giving our hands and hearts to pernicious peddlers of hate and instead listen to the love that reside in us all. Irrespective of our faiths or lack of it, I believe in my heart that the vast, vast majority are decent people who are trying their hardest to do good even if we fail in the process. Trauma is a prerequisite for maintaining air in our lungs; no one can escape the distresses that come with living life here on earth. Too often, we let the wounds we picked up from childhood and onward to transmute our once innocence and lead us to being bitter.The carnage we are witnessing boiling over from #Israel to #Gaza and beyond are but a manifestations of the hostilities we harbor in our hearts. #WarsNoMore Click To Tweet
If we are to course correct and find a modicum of peace in our time, it will only be because we chose forbearance over vengeance. We can only arrive at that paradigm if we stop blaming all for the evils of a few. At this precise moment, a mother in Haifa is terrified that she might lose her daughter to a rocket while a father in the Jabalia is grieving the death of his son who perished at the hands of a sniper. Denying the agony of one and amplifying the anguish of the other is nothing more than chauvinism masquerading as righteousness.
“You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.” ~ Nehemiah 9:17 [Torah]
“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galatians 5:14 [New Testament]
“And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” ~ Surah Al-Baqarah [Quran]
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