Monday, July 17, 2006

Relative Worth

I was fuming this morning about the state of the world, specifically about the ongoing idiocy in the Middle East, when my computer calendar chirped and informed me that today was my mother's birthday. She died in 2002 at age 88, and would have turned 92 today.

I got to thinking about my mother, what she taught her children, and how she lived her life. Because the situation in Israel and Lebanon was on my mind, I made some inevitable comparisons. My mother taught her children tolerance and forgiveness. She taught us fairness. She taught us to respect others. Other than in the nation of Israel, are any of these qualities in evidence in governments elsewhere in the Middle East?

People are people. The citizens of one country are much like those of another. It is the politicians and the 'leaders' of nations that perpetuate hatred and war.

The situation in that part of the world is like a boiling cauldron of hate. I have done considerable reading about the area, its history, its politics, and I don't understand why things haven't gotten better over the centuries.

It is popular these days (again) to blame everything on Israel. They, somehow, are at fault for everything that ails the area. They are a tiny nation of only six million inhabitants, almost invisible in a sea of Arabic countries with a total population of over 220 million. Somehow though, Israel, with no natural resources to speak of and no desirable land mass for others to envy, and with no territorial ambitions of its own, is a 'threat' to the rest of the region.


Israel has tried to do everything possible to avoid conflict. All Israelis want, is to be left alone.

Maybe other countries in the region should simply mind their own business, try to find a way to create employment for their youth, and stop spewing hatred.

Do we really need yet another generation of Jew haters?

My mother wouldn't think so. Neither do I.


  1. Well said Sieg, you echoed my own thoughts. However, I am not surprised by the problem, and I don't think it will ever go away. That's what you get when you give the most religiously covetted peace of land to a new nation. Christians, Jews, and Mulsims all consider that land to be sacred. So faith is taking precedence over common sense.

  2. "Somehow though, Israel, with no natural resources to speak of and no desirable land mass for others to envy, and with no territorial ambitions of its own, is a 'threat' to the rest of the region.


    I think the answer lies in part because they are God's Chosen People. Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews were hated and at war. This is not a cycle that has ended, nor do I think it will end until it gets a lot worse.

    Isaiah said,
    "As a lion roars,
    and a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him,
    He will not be afraid of their voice, Nor be disturbed by their noise),
    So the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill." Is. 31:4

    Another distressing aspect of this issue is the way that it is not portrayed fairly by the media. I watched BBC News last night, because I find it to be a little more broad than our local Chicago news stations. But, all they covered were the poor people leaving Lebanon. Yes, there are innocent people involved. But did they say a word about the innocent Jews? Do they show any compassion to Israel? Not that I saw.

  3. Yes, religion definitely plays a part in the equation. I think, though, that religion is mostly just employed as a useful tool to wind up the masses, and get them to do irrational things that are harmful to themselves individually, while advancing the agenda of lunatics.

    The interests of individual Arabs and Jews are the same: peace, stability, jobs, education, a reasonable lifestyle. The interests of the Arab religious leaders is to keep people unemployed, with no prospects for the future, so they can conveniently be fed the nonsense that they are being kept down by someone else. Scapegoats are always convenient. Having someone else to blame enables guilt transference: "Nope, it ain't my fault that I have no future, it is his fault. He keeps me from getting what I need."

    Until each nation in the Middle East allows its citizens the freedom to co-exist with their neighbours and stops peddling hateful rhetoric, nothing will chnage.

  4. Yes, I think the interests of the Arabs and the Jews are the same: peace, stability, jobs, education...but the missing component is religion. They do not have the same God, they do not have the same beliefs, and they cannot (will not) compromise for one another.