Article By Israel Bonan

[Comments are welcome at our Dialogue Corner]

How Could They?

It was not too long ago that someone in the Holy Land was killed. To some it was good riddance, to others he died a martyr. One man, two judgements.

We saw and heard the reaction of the Palestinians, through their mourning and their cries of revenge. We asked ourselves, was there anyone that stopped to think that he actually conspired and ordered the killing of innocent people? I also heard it said that even the Israeli Arabs called for a day of mourning! How could they?

Where is their compassion for the death of the innocents, how can we ever forget such callousness?

I might as well state it up front; I do not personally condone retaliatory strikes or killings. So why did I breathe a sigh of relief at the news of his death? A Palestinian will rightly conjecture that all Israelis, nay - all Jews must have felt what I felt, and he'll most likely be correct. It is still his right to feel, he was my 'spiritual leader' and they killed him. How could they?

And in turn will repeat the mantra, how can we ever forget the arbitrariness of the act against our beloved 'spiritual leader'?

We should hold the mirrors to our souls once in a while, and look deep at our inner emotions and thoughts. We have no control over such thoughts or emotions! Alas, we may be able to suppress them, by not rushing to act on them; but we have no control over their assertiveness in invading our psyche. Rage, jealousy, hatred etc. have a way of leeching into our sub-conscience at very inopportune times indeed. In short, we are human beings.

So what do we do? Do we discount such emotions? Do we acknowledge them? And if we do, then what's next; act on them? If I missed a question in the last series, please dear reader, fill them in.

Men of conscience question themselves and their motives. They may not waiver in their actions as they go on with their daily lives, but they are still prone to questioning themselves and their motives about what they do and how they act. On the other hand the ones who deal in absolutes, do not question their actions on anything. They are right by virtue of interpreting (or misinterpreting) their 'good book', or they are right by virtue of their 'regal, dictatorial or fanatical...' self proclaimed rights. So they don't ever question themselves, hence their tyranny, of thought and of action. So please, dear readers, question yourselves.

A vicious cycle of violence, a blood feud, call it what you may; it is insane and it is endless. Unless the people of conscience question, reflect and ponder how can they stop such madness.

So what now? Do we hate each other more, because of our perceived callousness or arbitrariness? Do we forget what we once stood for and succumb to our leeching emotions? Do we let our emotions control our actions? If I missed a question in the last series, as well, please dear reader, fill them in.

So what now? A simple advice will suffice, be yourselves again. If as a Jew or an Israeli you abhorred the notion of retaliation then be true to yourself and continue to denounce it. If you are a Palestinian or an Israeli Arab and you stood firmly against terrorist bombings before, be true to yourself again and for heaven sake do not stop speaking against it, more so, now.

So do not let these temporary encroaching and eroding emotions and thoughts corrupt your action, because we are responsible only for what we do and not what we think or feel. And do not forget to forgive your counterpart's perceived transgressions and to absolve yourselves of your emotions since there is plenty of emotional guilt to go around.

So this too shall pass, and we will go back to the business of feuding, or of hopefully, living and figuring out how to do it, together; and not have to wait for the great equalizer, mother earth and its dust, to remind us of how truly equal we really are.

Israel Bonan, 29/April/2004

Back To Current Editorial