Thinking of the Middle East

I am thinking of everyone who is hurting so deeply from the awfulness in the Middle East and I am so very sorry for the pain that everyone is going through. I’m reading friends' social media posts with great sadness.

For anyone else, in case it’s helpful (the geopolitics affect us all…), if I have learnt anything from over a decade working in Israel, the West Bank and (occasionally) Gaza, that is relevant to this horrible situation, it’s that:

1) Most people are decent
2) Most people are not represented by their governments
3) Some people are so far gone (trauma, loss, religious extremism, ideology, you name it) that they’re capable of doing truly appalling sociopathic and psychopathic things
4) Some of those people end up in power
5) See point 2)

6) Peace will only ever come through a negotiated settlement
7) Aggression and atrocities inevitably escalate conflict
8) Escalated conflict (with all its associated emotions) makes the pursuit of a negotiated peace impossible
9) See point 6)

Ultimately, every drop of civilian blood spilled is completely futile, and pushes peace further away and makes conflict more likely.

But sadly, there is very little that anyone other than the people in power can do about that.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, etc.

I think the best the rest of us can do is to be ready to contribute with love and empathy when the carnage eventually subsides, as it inevitably must.

Which is hard enough to do when you’re not deeply emotionally involved … next to impossible for those that are.

Again, I’m so sorry for all of you who are in the middle of it, and I am thinking of you. I hope the worst doesn’t come to pass.

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