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1 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:21:15pm

I can't find anything here to argue with. Well said.

You might be interested in a History of the Holy Land written long before the influence of Zionism.

2 BARACK THE VOTE  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:22:04pm

Thanks for an eloquent, inspired--and inspiring--and most of all courageous post. I'm glad you're a member of the LGF community, and I value LGF as a community because of your presence here (and others) and most of all the ability here to sometimes (most of the time) have these conversations. You're an inspiration.

3 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:23:33pm
I’ve been consistently courteous & respectful to the Jews here—as well as to people of other religions & no religion

You have indeed. I haven't been following any of the conversations here much recently, but on behalf of - well, me - I am sorry if you were made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable here.

4 wrenchwench  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:24:12pm
Thanks for reading this far.

I hope to read much more from you in the future.

5 elizajane  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:35:15pm

That was brave of you.

I have to admit that I stay out of these discussions, here and elsewhere. I know quite a lot about the founding of Israel (and its prehistory in the Balfour Declaration through World War II) and I feel strongly about its right to exist. But the conflict at this point gives me a headache because "leaders" on both sides have, on various occasions, behaved badly and stubbornly and stupidly. Equally, I feel sorry for the majority of the people on both sides. The way that the surrounding nations have played this situation over generations makes me furious. The attitude of a lot of British intellectuals today makes my blood boil.

So I just stay out of conversations. But I admire you for trying to figure out a position and to discuss it with people who may be more impassioned.

6 Jimmah  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:36:17pm
What I am stating is the obvious, at least to me: There is a conflict that has been going on for 60+ years—the dynamics at play are numerous & complicated and the results have been devastating to millions of people on both sides. It would be impossible for such a thing to drag on for decades like this if the blame lay 100% on one side.

Agreed. And people who promote war as the answer - on both sides - are the problem here, not the solution. They might think that they are acting in the interests of their people, but they are not.

7 Max  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:37:51pm

If only more people had your levelheadedness. Great piece calling for peace. :)

8 BARACK THE VOTE  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:38:42pm

re: #5 elizajane

The way that the surrounding nations have played this situation over generations makes me furious. The attitude of a lot of British intellectuals today makes my blood boil.

Totally agree.

So I just stay out of conversations. But I admire you for trying to figure out a position and to discuss it with people who may be more impassioned.

this, too.

9 Max  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:47:19pm

I am not Jewish, but growing up in a predominately Jewish community gave me a deep respect for the Jewish culture and the State of Israel. Israel and Judaism share a very special place in my heart, so I can understand why emotions run high on both sides of this conflict.

That being said, by Israel standards my opinions are definitely on the right wing of bell curve. But I do believe that if the kind of levelheadedness that you've displayed here where more common in Ramallah, Gaza, Damascus, and even Jerusalem, peace would be within our reach.

10 ~Fianna  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:48:51pm

If it's any consolation to you, there is a segment of American Jewry (and some in Israel, as well) that agree with you. It's a rough discussion and part of the reason why I haven't been around LGF lately. I find it's not worth the argument and that in general someone says something stupid that makes me lose a lot of respect for them. I'm super-glad that I've missed this latest round.

It's even gotten to the point where my husband and I are uncomfortable going to synagogue because the level of "Team Israel, YAH!! KILL EM ALL" is, frankly, somewhat sickening. (And by "uncomfortable" I mean we've left our congregation and celebrated Pesach entirely at home this year - it got that bad).

The political structure on both sides in that region have a lot vested in keeping tensions high and I don't think a few lives here or there really much bother either side as long as it keeps their power entrenched.

11 researchok  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:57:47pm

Well said.

12 _RememberTonyC  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 4:58:32pm

Nice post, CL. I can think of very few issues that make emotions run higher than the conflict between Israel and it's neighbors. I appreciate the way you have presented your feelings. It was done in an intellectually honest way. And it showed respect for others, including those you have disagreed with. I have always felt that one of the most important 20th century leaders was Anwar el Sadat because he saw how destructive hatred was and moved decisively to end it. Sadly, he was taken far too soon. I believe that he would have brought democratic progress to Egypt in much the same way that he brougt hope and a measure of peace to Israel. I truly believe that the only hope for Mideast peace is for other figures like Sadat to emerge. Of course there is blame on both sides of this conflict. But if Sadat was able to make nice with an old warhorse like Menachem Begin, someone like Sadat can hopefully do the same with Israel's current and future leaders.

13 ~Fianna  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 5:02:00pm

re: #12 _RememberTonyC

I have always felt that one of the most important 20th century leaders was Anwar el Sadat because he saw how destructive hatred was and moved decisively to end it. Sadly, he was taken far too soon.

I'd also mention Rabin there, too. His assassination was an absolute tragedy for Israel and for the world.

14 _RememberTonyC  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 5:02:53pm

re: #13 ~Fianna

I'd also mention Rabin there, too. His assassination was an absolute tragedy for Israel and for the world.

Agreed

15 reine.de.tout  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 5:52:38pm

Great post {{{CL}}}, naturally; and I say "naturally" because it's everything I've come to expect from you, and it's very clear, well-written, and importantly, non-accusatory. You've added greatly to any discussion you've been a part of, and I'm glad you are here.

We all hope and pray for peace in the mideast, and MOST of us wish no harm on anyone of either side. It's the calm and rational discussions one can have (or just read while lurking) here LGF that add to everyone's understanding of situations and positions.

16 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 5:54:14pm

Thank you for writing that.

17 PhillyPretzel  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:00:36pm

What LVQ said.

18 Political Atheist  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:09:20pm

Wonderful, thoughtful post. I'm a fan of your posts, and I hold a lot of respect for you. Well done.

19 Four More Tears  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:13:15pm

{{{CL}}}

20 Michael Orion Powell  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:17:35pm

After reading the whole thing, I wanted to add a few cents. This will delve into my views so if you don't find those consequential, feel free to evade.

My sister is married to a man from Morocco. The first views that I ever heard on the Palestine/Israel issue came from him, and more brashly, my sister. Like my intellectual icon, Christopher Hitchens, I found myself likening the Israel/Palestine situation to the treatment of aboriginals in Australia or Native Americans here. Alot of leftists do this. I wrote some articles on it high school that got some Jewish students roiled up.

There are still strong arguments on the Palestinian side that are very strong but the issue has become much murkier for me. On one hand, I get mistaken for Jewish quite a bit. Alot, in fact. I've never had anyone postulate true hate at me but I've grown to detect these things. I've had several Muslim students at schools I've been at tell middleman friends that they avoided me or thought I was "pro-Israel" when I'd said nothing about the matter. In the same easygoing way that black jokes are made, Muslim friends have joked about be being stingy with money (I am very fiscally conservative but that has little to do with sectarian background). Nothing really offensive or upsetting has happened but the general attitude reminds me alot of the attitude of whites towards blacks in this country.

Likewise the treatment of Jews historically is similar. Just a quick look through Wikipedia will show that for hundreds of years, Jews were forced to walk on separate sides of street - daily humiliation quite similar to having to walk to the back of the bus.

If there is a solution for Israel and Palestine, I don't think that it would be sect dominating the other. Both extremes are lobbying to create power structures that will benefit them and subjugate the other. You would need a leader to come about who would realize that this cycle of dominion is the core problem and that limits need to be made to make sure that one tribe isn't trying to eat the other one. This has been tried in Lebanon to disappointing effect, if I'm wrong, but it's worth trying again.

21 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:20:22pm

You bring to the table a calm, rational discussion. I've learned much. I respect both (I hate to say sides, that sucks) aspects of this discussion. It always comes down to regular people for me. Politicians on both sides use the situation to stay in power or whatever, dismissing the regular mothers, fathers and children. It's a naive view I'm sure, but I'm not letting it go, and promise to try to learn more and not blindly believe everything I read.

Bottom line, I hate racism of any kind. I will not tolerate it.

Thanks Curious Lurker.

22 Locker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:20:27pm

Great letter man. Your observations and experience aren't unique. I've been called an anti-semite here for admiring Gandhi and for asking questions to inform myself.

It's also been insinuated, by some, that any criticism of Israeli policies, actions or statements makes one an anti-semite. It has further been insinuated that suggesting any level of Israeli responsibility for the negative aspects of the Israel/Palestine situation makes one an anti-semite.

I disagree and further suggest that the above attitude completely chokes off any avenue of conversation on the subject. With regard to the very, very many lizards who do NOT engage in this type of behavior I sincerely thank you for fostering a fertile environment for discussion.

23 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:21:23pm

You continue to help me grow (again). Thank you.

24 ProGunLiberal  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:21:29pm

Thanks for expressing your views. Mine are nearly identical. Thank you again.

25 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:24:29pm
I’ve been consistently courteous & respectful to the Jews here—as well as to people of other religions & no religion—and have spent a lot of time discussing things in a civil manner.

I have definitely found this to be the case. In my experience you have interacted with members of other religions, and those of us without religion in a fair and respectful manner. I wish as much could be said for some other members here.

As for your perspective on the Israel/Palestine, I find it to be similar to my own. You express it quite eloquently. Thank you.

26 lawhawk  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:25:32pm

Kudos to CL!

The Arab Israeli conflict is totally within my wheelhouse - and it's something I've studied for almost 20 years now (and fascinated me for as long as I can remember).

A couple of things have always stood out from my studies - moments of courage and moral and ethical clarity.

That includes Gen. Moshe Dayan's decision to hand control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf - allowing them continued access to the Temple Mount to this day.

It includes Sadat's trip to Jerusalem and the subsequent peace deal.

It includes Peres and Rabin laying it on the line to agree to Oslo with what in retrospect was an all too reluctant Arafat who couldn't deliver on his promises to the West.

It includes King Hussein of Jordan making peace with Israel and not relying on land for peace.

These are the pivot points. These are the events that shape the ME conflict - and they are shaped by the personalities.

Someone who is weak, reluctant to put their life on the line will not make the necessary breakthrough. Arafat refused to make peace even after signing on the dotted line. Abbas is following in his footstep. They took the easy way out - allowing the violence to overtake them and by refusing to call out the incessant indoctrination and hatred spewed towards Israel.

What it also shows is that the peace process is moved as much by having a willing partner for peace on both sides. Begin was convinced to make peace with Sadat; Arafat was convinced to make a deal with Rabin. With Hamas now reconciling with Fatah, the possibility of a breakthrough in the stalemate is greatly diminished. The limitations of land for peace are also exposed by Hamas and Gaza - Israel withdrew unilaterally and the result was not peace, but a rocket and mortar war that continues almost incessantly since the disengagement. Settlements are not an impediment to peace - but a refusal to accept Israel's existence - either as part of a 2-state solution or as a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian entity - is.

That isn't to say that Israel's decisions to go ahead with building more homes (settlements) is not always in the best interest of advancing a peace process, but I keep coming back to the fact that homes can be bought and sold. Communities can and have been transferred (they were in Sinai and the IDF forcibly removed Israelis living in Gaza and Sinai).

Harsh or collective punishment - or even perceived collective punishment in the form of airstrikes doesn't help Israel's cause, but when your enemy is unethical and ruthless as Hamas is, any restraint is perceived as weakness to be exploited.

It's why Hamas can say that they're unilaterally cease-firing, allowing Islamic Jihad to attack Israel, and Fatah can call out Israel when Israel attacks and causes civilian casualties in addition to killing terrrorists firing from within civilian areas.

But the Israel-Palestinian conflict is just a part of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict, and again it comes down to a refusal to accept what the Arab regimes have long considered an interloper and illegitimate entity and where the rhetoric borders (and sometimes crosses over into) the genocidal. Israel has to have a partner in peace here as well - and those are sorely lacking. Perhaps the best we can hope for is a status quo where the lack of an open war is the best we can do unless regimes change and stop hurling invective at Israel and begin seeing it as a possible partner in advancing human rights and the quality of life of all in the region. Clearly natural resources have not gotten it done for the ME regimes that are sitting on oodles of oil - and those pools of oil are slowly drying up. They're going to need something different. Something more. And Israel is at the forefront of that research.

27 PhillyPretzel  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:27:32pm

Peace is a wonderful ideal; if we can get it. I for one would love to see two nations working toward that one goal. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world who do not understand that concept. All they understand is domination of the loser and they do not care how they do it as long as they are the victor.

28 Simply Sarah  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:27:54pm

Well, I don't think I can add much to what people here have already said, other than to say that, since I've been here, I've constantly found you to be one of the more thoughtful, understanding, respectful, and interesting posters. What you've said here only furthers those feelings in my mind. I, like so many others, am glad that you are part of the community and look forward to seeing your continued strong contributions in the future.
{{CL}}

29 bratwurst  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:28:28pm

re: #13 ~Fianna

I'd also mention Rabin there, too. His assassination was an absolute tragedy for Israel and for the world.

The region and the world in general could sure use a few leaders with his courage and integrity today.

30 firstinla  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:35:26pm

CL: great missive. I've been away from LGF for a while for various reasons, one of which was increasingly nasty and bitter sparring. I came to LGF because I always learned so much. I got very tired of the "fuck you" comments when posters disagreed with each other. I appreciate your letter and have enjoyed your other postings. Keep at it. You are a sane voice in an increasingly insane world.

31 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:37:00pm

re: #29 bratwurst

The region and the world in general could sure use a few leaders with his courage and integrity today.

OK, here I go with my limited knowledge, the political aspect.

I think Israel is suffering in world view because they have hard line right wing people who are not in the mold of courage and bravery. Avigdor Lieberman comes to mind.

So sayeth the moonbat.

Educate me.

32 lawhawk  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:52:37pm

re: #31 Stanley Sea

The retort to that would be that Liberman and other right wingers will fall back on the fact that the Gaza disengagement - carried out by none other than Sharon (whose right wing cred is pretty established) was a failure. It did not improve Israel's security, as Lieberman would say because they're now dealing with nearly incessant attacks from Gaza, and that the IDF can't go and hunt down Hamas because they simply aren't on the ground to send Hamas packing.

The counter to that was - and is - that the occupation of Gaza, where Israelis were severely outnumbered, was untenable, and lacking a partner in peace, the disengagement was the next best thing to contain and limit the threat posed by the terrorists. It was the justification Sharon used in disengagement, and it still holds true. The IDF was being stretched by maintaining a security force in Gaza, and now Lieberman counters that the Israeli military is now being stretched by maintaining a security force inside Israel's own borders all while Israeli communities are under fire - and that reoccupying Gaza would thwart those mortar and rocket attacks.

I find the reoccupation unpersuasive, but Hamas may well cross a line with yet another mass casualty attack forcing Israel to engage in a Cast Lead type operation (or more).

33 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:52:41pm

Oops?

34 bratwurst  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:54:22pm

re: #31 Stanley Sea

OK, here I go with my limited knowledge, the political aspect.

I think Israel is suffering in world view because they have hard line right wing people who are not in the mold of courage and bravery. Avigdor Lieberman comes to mind.

So sayeth the moonbat.

Educate me.

I will preface my words by stating that I am a lifelong Zionist. My Zionism is not limited to the internets, I spend my time and money in Israel every 2-3 years and I contribute regularly to Magen David Adom.

Having gotten my credentials out of the way, I will keep it simple. Today's leaders in Israel share the same flaws with the vast majority of politicians around the world: far too focused on serving red meat to their political base, not nearly focused enough on what is in the best long-term interest of their nation (and the world) as a whole.

35 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:55:43pm

re: #32 lawhawk

I updinged you for the very educated response.

My brilliant response? The whole Gaza disengagement sucked. Couldn't be maintained, understood. But things are not good because of how it happened.

But Lieberman? Maybe I read the left wing sights too much, i.e. Haaretz.

That dude sounds so racist to me.

36 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:56:11pm

re: #33 Stanley Sea

Oops?

I typed this when no response was forthcoming. Lahawk was on the ball!

37 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 6:57:49pm

re: #34 bratwurst

I will preface my words by stating that I am a lifelong Zionist. My Zionism is not limited to the internets, I spend my time and money in Israel every 2-3 years and I contribute regularly to Magen David Adom.

Having gotten my credentials out of the way, I will keep it simple. Today's leaders in Israel share the same flaws with the vast majority of politicians around the world: far too focused on serving red meat to their political base, not nearly focused enough on what is in the best long-term interest of their nation (and the world) as a whole.

That's what I'm seeing. And it's not going to be a solution to a tough, hard problem that requires courage and statesman/womanship.

38 SanFranciscoZionist  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:00:44pm

CL, you're a class act. And like Alouette, I cannot argue with anything you've said.

39 Obdicut  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:02:24pm
In case it’s still unclear to anyone, I think the murder of the young father, the wounding of the other five men, and the burning of Joseph’s Tomb was wrong—they did nothing to warrant being attacked like that, even if they weren’t following the established process for visits. It annoys me that I even feel the need to say that considering my history here, but there it is.

Agreed. Demanding or insisting that people condemn such a thing, instead of assuming it is condemned, is goddamn bizarre. I don't get the thought process whereby that's an acceptable thing to do.

40 Surabaya Stew  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:03:08pm

re: #38 SanFranciscoZionist

CL, you're a class act. And like Alouette, I cannot argue with anything you've said.

I third that sentiment; great post, CL!

41 lawhawk  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:07:20pm

re: #34 bratwurst

Add to that perhaps the key factor - Israel's political environment is such that no one party can dominate, and that leads to coalition governments where a small party can dictate the terms of a particular discussion. Because no party has a majority (60 seats), they've got to cut deals with smaller parties. This has always been a weakness of the Israeli system (and strength since all parties have a voice - pluralism - and even small parties can have an outsize impact). This gives religious parties a potentially outsized influence on key issues, for example - cabinet seats etc.

42 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:07:30pm

re: #39 Obdicut

Agreed. Demanding or insisting that people condemn such a thing, instead of assuming it is condemned, is goddamn bizarre. I don't get the thought process whereby that's an acceptable thing to do.

It was a test of loyalty.

That's how I saw it, and damnit, this is a fucking BLOG.

43 goddamnedfrank  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:08:08pm

re: #39 Obdicut

Agreed. Demanding or insisting that people condemn such a thing, instead of assuming it is condemned, is goddamn bizarre. I don't get the thought process whereby that's an acceptable thing to do.

It's Otherism, another way of bullying ... "if you're not with us you're against us, so you'd better step to and prove it right goddamned now!"

44 dragonfire1981  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:14:04pm

I could have written this. I have great respect for the Jewish people and religion BUT I don't overwhelmingly agree with everything Israel does. Frankly I think both sides carry a fair bit of blame in the conflict.

I am by no means an expert on Israel but I do understand basic human nature and can't say I am surprised at how things have unfolded there. When you have two sides opposing each other and both refusing to compromise, the eventual outcome is always the same: A long and drawn out conflict in which both sides entrench themselves for the long haul.

45 calochortus  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:16:49pm

CL, I'm not Jewish, so this wasn't exactly addressed to me, but it was thoughtful and heartfelt, and I appreciate your posting it.

Like Elizajane I stay out of discussions of Israeli politics because it is the one area of LGF where passions seem to override the usual bounds of our discussions. I believe there is right and wrong on both (all?) sides and that all people deserve a safe place to live in peace and dignity. I'm also not naive enough to believe that we'll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya any time soon. What we deserve is not necessarily what we get.

46 Romantic Heretic  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:18:30pm

Thanks, CL, for an uplifting post. It gives me the courage to post my own thoughts.

Those thoughts always drift to two books by David Drake, specifically At Any Price and Rolling Hot.

These books are part of Mr. Drake's Hammer Slammers series. The Slammers are a mercenary armor regiment in the 30th Century and Mr. Drake writes them well because of his year in country in Vietnam.

In At Any Price the Slammers are hired to back up the locals in a human colony in their conflict with the natives. The war looks to be going on forever due to the fact that the human army leaders are incompetent and the natives can teleport.

One of the central characters is appointed by his uncle to lead the army, and he does well. The natives agree to a peace treaty. But when the uncle comes to sign it he makes it clear that there will be no peace because as long as the war goes on the uncle will have complete control of the nation.

Rolling Hot is about a scratch crew of Slammers who have to make an opposed night march to reinforce a local city in the middle of a 'Tet Offensive'. A local hitches a ride with the Slammers.

At one point in the book the local and the Slammers are discussing the politics that lead to this situation. One of the Slammers cuts off the conversation by saying, "Most people just want the shooting to stop. That's the way it always is."

These scenes sum up my thoughts on the Israel/Palestine situation. There are too many people who think that as long as the conflict endures they will have power, and most people just want the shooting to stop.

47 Gus  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:32:19pm
I have indeed learned a lot, both good & bad, which doesn’t surprise me. I still have a lot more to learn. I’ve been consistently courteous & respectful to the Jews here—as well as to people of other religions & no religion...

I can attest to this. Curious Lurker, you've been a great addition to the LGF since you first set foot here. Hope to see you around for many years to come and continue to provide your insight and point of view at LGF. Cheers!

48 Stanghazi  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:32:47pm
These scenes sum up my thoughts on the Israel/Palestine situation. There are too many people who think that as long as the conflict endures they will have power, and most people just want the shooting to stop.

That's exactly how I see it.

49 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 7:42:43pm

thanks for writing this, CL

50 CuriousLurker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:02:08pm

*blinking* WOW, I'm flabbergasted (in a good way) at the response to this page—what a wonderful bunch of feedback you all have left!

Writing this page at the end of a long day has pretty much left me tapped out, so I hope you guys won't mind if I just up-ding everyone, give a grouped "thank you" response to the shorter comments, and then come back after I've had some sleep to address the longer ones.

You guys are the best. I feel so much better now that we've cleared the air a little.

51 Fenris  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:16:53pm

It's bothersome that discussions here have come to this point. Though I haven't been keeping up with the news, shamefully so, too, that's really no excuse for the comments you're describing. We hold commenters on other blogs, especially ones we disagree with, to much higher standards.

Sorry you had to go through this. Really we're a lot nicer than that.

52 CuriousLurker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:30:21pm

re: #1 Alouette

I can't find anything here to argue with. Well said.

You might be interested in a History of the Holy Land written long before the influence of Zionism.

Thank you. That looks like a great resource.

re: #2 iceweasel

Thanks for an eloquent, inspired--and inspiring--and most of all courageous post. I'm glad you're a member of the LGF community, and I value LGF as a community because of your presence here (and others) and most of all the ability here to sometimes (most of the time) have these conversations. You're an inspiration.

*blushing* Thank you for your kind words. And thanks to all the people who make this a great place to have discussions and learn from each other, and to Charles especially for providing us with a sane venue to do so. {{{ice}}}

re: #3 Slumbering Behemoth

You have indeed. I haven't been following any of the conversations here much recently, but on behalf of - well, me - I am sorry if you were made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable here.

Thanks. {{{SB}}}

re: #4 wrenchwench

I hope to read much more from you in the future.

The feeling is mutual. BTW, loved your split-tailed lizard story from a few days back!

re: #7 Max D. Reinhardt

If only more people had your levelheadedness. Great piece calling for peace. :)

Thanks. :)

re: #11 researchok

Well said.

Thanks.

re: #16 LudwigVanQuixote

Thank you for writing that.

You're welcome.

re: #17 PhillyPretzel

What LVQ said.

You're welcome too. :)

re: #18 Rightwingconspirator

Wonderful, thoughtful post. I'm a fan of your posts, and I hold a lot of respect for you. Well done.

Thanks so much. I very much appreciate your always civil tone as well, even when I completely disagree with you. And I really enjoy your photos—more please!

re: #19 JasonA

{{{CL}}}

{{{JasonA}}}

Okay, next batch, heh...

53 Bob Levin  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:46:37pm

re: #50 CuriousLurker

I think I missed something. I hope I wasn't the one who said something hurtful, because I don't recall saying anything curt. Was there a discussion over Passover? I wasn't around on those days.

But if it was me, then I'd like to mend it in detail. I always enjoy our discussions.

(This is a long and thoughtful thread, and I would upding everyone contributing to it--just not now.)

54 CuriousLurker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:50:11pm

re: #23 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

You continue to help me grow (again). Thank you.

And you me. When I think about the stuff you've been dealing with over the past year and how you invariably come here full of good humor, I'm impressed & humbled. {{{FBV}}}

re: #24 ProLifeLiberal

Thanks for expressing your views. Mine are nearly identical. Thank you again.

You're welcome, little bro. :)

re: #38 SanFranciscoZionist

CL, you're a class act. And like Alouette, I cannot argue with anything you've said.

I want to be you when I grow up, heh. {{{SFZ}}}

re: #39 Obdicut

Agreed. Demanding or insisting that people condemn such a thing, instead of assuming it is condemned, is goddamn bizarre. I don't get the thought process whereby that's an acceptable thing to do.

You always get it. I love that about you. {{{Obdi}}}

re: #40 Surabaya Stew

I third that sentiment; great post, CL!

Thanks!

re: #47 Gus 802

I can attest to this. Curious Lurker, you've been a great addition to the LGF since you first set foot here. Hope to see you around for many years to come and continue to provide your insight and point of view at LGF. Cheers!

Thanks! I hope I hang around here for a long time to come as well. And one of these days I'm going to make you tell me about the t-shirt thing that I missed... LOL

re: #49 WindUpBird

thanks for writing this, CL

Thanks for reading and for just being you. {{{WUB}}}

re: #51 fenrisdesigns

It's bothersome that discussions here have come to this point. Though I haven't been keeping up with the news, shamefully so, too, that's really no excuse for the comments you're describing. We hold commenters on other blogs, especially ones we disagree with, to much higher standards.

Sorry you had to go through this. Really we're a lot nicer than that.

It is bothersome, but I guess it happens even at the best of blogs. Thank you for your concern & kind words. This too will pass.

I'm signing out for the night now and will come back to the other comments tomorrow, God willing. Be kind to each other—you never know which words may be your last to someone.

//And I can't believe you guys tweeted this—if I'd known it was going to travel around the twitterverse I'd have...I dunno, gotten all dressed up or something. ;o)

55 justaminute  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:54:11pm

Life would be so great if we could work out the world's problems on a blog. ;) I learned to leave my preconceived notions of anyone's religion behind me; because more often than not it was wrong. When I married my husband the arguments we had on the Muslim faith were epic. When I went to Iran it changed in a lot of ways that are two numerous to mention.

While I will never convert, my whole attitude towards religion has changed. In some ways it is resentful because it causes, in my opinion, a whole multitude of various problems. My dealings with people who believe differently than me is to try to not say anything to denigrate their religion. It is not my journey in life to talk with authority on religion but to observe it.

I was raised in the Christian faith (that's a whole other page) and closely observed the Muslim faith by marrying into a family that practices it. But I learned that how they practice it brings arguments from other Muslims. That's why I remain a dedicated observer. The Jewish faith, I am slightly above clueless but I really like the people of the Jewish faith that I have met here.

I really admire you. I believe your a convert to the Muslim faith and from what I know of you from your writings, you practice it well. You are a good person.

56 CuriousLurker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 8:58:05pm

re: #53 Bob Levin

I think I missed something. I hope I wasn't the one who said something hurtful, because I don't recall saying anything curt. Was there a discussion over Passover? I wasn't around on those days.

But if it was me, then I'd like to mend it in detail. I always enjoy our discussions.

(This is a long and thoughtful thread, and I would upding everyone contributing to it--just not now.)

Bob, no, please don't even think that! It absolutely didn't have anything to do with anything you've ever said. I've always found you to be kind, respectful & thoughtful. There's nothing at all between you & me that needs mending, and I always enjoy our conversations as well.

Speaking of, sorry for not responding to you on my other page, but as you can see, I got sidetracked. Your posts were wonderful and a pleasure to read. :)

57 CuriousLurker  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 9:03:42pm

re: #55 justaminute

I love that you're always so sincere. Give me a rain check on a response till tomorrow? I'm beat right now and if anyone else comments before I log out, my blog OCD will kick in and I'll feel compelled to ding and/or respond. ;o)

~~~GONE~~~

58 Bob Levin  Thu, Apr 28, 2011 9:52:44pm

re: #35 Stanley Sea

Truthfully, I'm more concerned with the event that CL spoke of, because I still don't know what happened.

However, regarding your comment--there is a trick to reading about Israel and the Middle East. Most of what you read, a vast quantity of what you read is written by someone with a very strong agenda. And most of the verbiage is smoke and mirrors. On the one side, there are media organs like the Guardian, the BBC, and CNN that will not be giving you a clear picture. There are media organs on the other side, which I read, but I have to read them very carefully. So, I'll check out Arutz Sheva almost every day, but I won't post 99% of what I read--because of the smoke. I'm to the point of simply deleting the Rubin Report before I read it, since I get his essays in my email.

The problem with Israeli politics is that it's so local (small country). Many Israeli politicians do not see themselves communicating to a world audience. And so there is Lieberman.

At this point, we are heading into a very dense woods that allows no sunlight to touch the ground. However, lets say that you actually want to try to have some understanding of the region. I would advise that you follow the trends of international trade, science and technology. Ignore the politicians. Definitely ignore the religious leaders (this is a very well documented Jewish tradition).

You will note that Ha'aretz pretty much covers politics and rarely has any economic or science news. And that is because what they really want is for the Labor Party to become a major player once again. There's more, but there's always more. The bottom line, politicians come and go very quickly, so do their words. But university research has the staying power.

59 Usually refered to as anyways  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:55:22am

CuriousLurker,
Much appreciate you being here.
I find you both polite and courteous, and enjoy reading your posts.

60 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:57:12am

re: #38 SanFranciscoZionist

CL, you're a class act. And like Alouette, I cannot argue with anything you've said.

amen

61 theye1  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 4:47:17am

I usually stay away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the conflict is deeply polarizing. To most active participants, you either support Israel or you support Palestine.

62 Ericus58  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 5:17:48am

A soul journey of a Post, CL.
Your words and the following posts by others here was very much in need after yesterday.
As we discuss and ponder some of the worlds most vexing topics and sources of strife, my only hope is that we here - the Lizard community - retain the respect due each other.

Thank you Curious Lurker for joining our band of misfits on this journey.

63 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 6:49:02am

re: #62 Ericus58

Without naming names, could you link to the thread in question, please? I'd appreciate it.

64 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 7:17:25am

re: #63 Bob Levin

It starts with a deleted comment, but you can get the gist.

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

65 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 7:22:53am

re: #64 Obdicut

Thank you.

66 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 7:23:35am

Oh. 900 comments. *Deep breath*

67 Stanghazi  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 7:50:49am

re: #58 Bob Levin

Thank you!

68 Vicious Babushka  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 8:03:26am

The Significance of the Temple in Jewish Life today

By Alouette

The Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) was destroyed by the Romans in the 1st Century CE. Since that time the Jewish people have mourned the destruction of the Temple and pray for its restoration in our daily prayers. The date of Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av) is the day we mourn the destruction of the Temple and all other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, including the Holocaust.

The traditional belief is that the restoration of the Temple and its daily worship (including animal sacrifices) will be completed after the arrival of Moshiach (the Messiah) and that the Temple will be rebuilt in a supernatural manner, and that it shall be a "House of Prayer for all Nations" who will gather to worship in Jerusalem, according the prophecy of Zechariah. Moshiach will turn the hearts of all peoples on earth to the worship of one G-D and bring an era of peace. May it happen speedily in our time.

69 theye1  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 8:17:35am

re: #68 Alouette

I always found it a little ironic that Herod, the guy who pretty much rebuilt the second temple, was an Arab (or at least his mother was).

70 Vicious Babushka  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 8:25:04am

re: #69 theye1

I always found it a little ironic that Herod, the guy who pretty much rebuilt the second temple, was an Arab (or at least his mother was).

Maybe that's why it had to be destroyed.

71 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:06:50am

re: #66 Bob Levin

Whoops. It actually starts here. That other thread was just the carryover.

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

72 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:11:49am

I would like to ask which part of the 100% of blame for the current mess can be placed on Israel?

I know that this thread has really been a love in, and if that is what you wanted, then fine.... But as a jewish member of LGF, that is what I am curious about. That is one of the two parts that clearly jump out at me.

I mean this isn't some divorce where you can say it takes two to tangle, and each party has to take 50% responsibility.

Who takes the blame for the Palestinian side? The Pal leadership? Who is/was that? What about the Arab/Muslim nations surrounding Israel? Do they get a percentage of the blame?

If this isn't about blame, and that is a very nice thing to say.... then who takes responsibility?

You see that is where I find the discussion breaks down. I am curious what you learned about that.....

Maybe you blame the Israeli right wing, that is certainly popular right now....You will find a lot from J Street outlining that...

I am curious if you could expand on that part. I think it makes a difference.

73 Obdicut  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:14:27am

re: #72 Buck

Who the hell are you talking to?

74 zora  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:33:43am

re: #72 Buck

reading is fundamental.

75 perrie  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:39:37am

What a wonderful letter, and I couldn't have put it better myself. I don't think that you have to be Jewish to see the merit in what you said so eloquently here.

76 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:56:29am

re: #64 Obdicut

You didn't tell me I'd have to sift through two of these. Sheesh.

77 Bob Levin  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 10:21:48am

Well, that was just about the messiest exchange possible. I believe the US negotiations with North Vietnam were smoother.

I don't even know where to begin--other than I applaud the efforts of everyone trying to derive content from comments so covered in thorns. Of course (surprising), folks couldn't quite get to the content, because there was always another layer of thorns.

It would have been nice if there could have been a discussion about Holy Sites, maybe the definition of Holy, but that discussion didn't take place.

I'll say this. Over the centuries religious institutions have defined religion in such a way as to make religious dialogue almost impossible. That's what has to be overcome, the layers of misunderstandings that masquerade as basic religious teaching. These misdirected definitions even make political discussions about the Middle East very difficult.

Even the notion of atheism is affected by these very poor definitions.

But, wow. What a mess.

78 shutdown  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 10:24:13am

CuriousLurker:
I am going to avoid turning my response into a commentary on Middle East politics or religious philosophy. Your letter here touched me as having been written by that most elusive of creatures: the open minded, kind-hearted, intellectually honest citizen of the world. I overcame my own early suspicions as to your motives and feelings and decided in my exchanges with you that if you were willing to take risks, then, well, so would I. I have learned from you, and I thank you for being willing to expose yourself to the sniping and hurtfulness that is too frequently the fallout of blog discussions, even in a "community" such as LGF.

I like to think that if we met in person, you would deign to become my friend. I know I would like you a lot. Here is hoping that you regain the necessary perspective to come back, and the necessary strength to take the inevitable pain. The world would be a better place for more people like you.

79 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:15:57pm

re: #73 Obdicut

Who the hell are you talking to?

The OP, I thought that was clear.

80 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:19:22pm

"f anyone has something constructive to add or wants to have a civilized discussion,"

I thought I was being very civilized and constructive. And what do I get? Downdinged as if I said something wrong.

81 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:19:53pm

re: #74 zora

reading is fundamental.

Is that "civilized and constructive"? I don't think so.

82 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:21:45pm

re: #5 elizajane

That was brave of you.

I have to admit that I stay out of these discussions, here and elsewhere. I know quite a lot about the founding of Israel (and its prehistory in the Balfour Declaration through World War II) and I feel strongly about its right to exist. But the conflict at this point gives me a headache because "leaders" on both sides have, on various occasions, behaved badly and stubbornly and stupidly. Equally, I feel sorry for the majority of the people on both sides. The way that the surrounding nations have played this situation over generations makes me furious. The attitude of a lot of British intellectuals today makes my blood boil.

So I just stay out of conversations. But I admire you for trying to figure out a position and to discuss it with people who may be more impassioned.

It was more desperation than bravery. I needed to get any residual "bad stuff" out of my system and clear up any seeds of doubt or suspicion that may have been sown about me. IOW, while my words were indeed from the heart, my motivation was primarily one of self-interest.

That's not to imply that self-interest is a negative thing. That's why we have laws and rules of etiquette and whatnot, right? Because maintaining a degree of order & civility is in everyone's best interests, both individually & collectively. Judging by the response here, I wasn't the only one holding a bunch of stuff in. :)

I, for one, would be very interested in hearing about what British intellectuals say that makes your blood boil as I'm not familiar with that. One of the great things about the LGF Pages is that they're much "quieter". What I mean is they allow you to write at your own pace without having to keep up with a busy (or contentious) thread, and you have the ability to delete your own page if things get out of control. I don't want to pressure you into discussing things you're uncomfortable with, I'm just pointing out that the Pages may be the best place to do so if you ever change your mind.

Thank you for your kind & thoughtful remarks.

83 zora  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:24:03pm

re: #81 Buck

you have a comprehension problem or you are willfully ignorant. what can be said?

84 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:40:46pm

re: #80 Buck

"f anyone has something constructive to add or wants to have a civilized discussion,"

I thought I was being very civilized and constructive. And what do I get? Downdinged as if I said something wrong.

That's not what people heard, including myself, which is why you got down-dinged. That and your history of doggedly beating a horse to death once someone engages with you. Based on that, I find it well nigh impossible to envision having a constructive conversation with you, which is why I don't usually try.

You also made some very ugly, ignorant comments yesterday about the Dome of the Rock and Islam that got deleted. I see no point in discussing the matter with someone who holds such opinions. If you want to continue jumping up & down to try to draw someone else in, be my guest.

85 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 12:53:58pm

re: #6 Jimmah

Agreed. And people who promote war as the answer - on both sides - are the problem here, not the solution. They might think that they are acting in the interests of their people, but they are not.

I think resolving this is going to require the emergence of a very strong statesman (or stateswoman) on both sides. That and more democracy, fewer dictators. And that means that part of the blame lies with us in propping up some of those dictatorships for the sake of political expediency that supports our economic & strategic interests. Oh, what a tangled web we weave... *sigh*

86 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:12:58pm

re: #9 Max D. Reinhardt

I am not Jewish, but growing up in a predominately Jewish community gave me a deep respect for the Jewish culture and the State of Israel. Israel and Judaism share a very special place in my heart, so I can understand why emotions run high on both sides of this conflict.

That being said, by Israel standards my opinions are definitely on the right wing of bell curve. But I do believe that if the kind of levelheadedness that you've displayed here where more common in Ramallah, Gaza, Damascus, and even Jerusalem, peace would be within our reach.

I had no idea you weren't Jewish—that's interesting, thanks for sharing it. It helps to know where people are coming from.

Yes, I've kinda noticed that you lean towards the right. :)

Perhaps things have reached a point where there's so much pain, mistrust, and hatred between the parties involved that they are no longer capable of resolving things among themselves. I guess what frustrates me is that there are all these great brains in the world, and so many people who suffer over this conflict, yet we can't seem to put our collective heads together and figure out a solution. It's like we've forgotten how to talk to each other, how to really see each other...we just see whatever parts we are touching. Which reminds me of a story:

The Elephant in a Dark Room

Some Hindus were exhibiting an elephant in a dark room, and many people collected to see it. But as the place was too dark to permit them to see the elephant, they all felt it with their hands, to gain an idea of what it was like. One felt its trunk, and declared that the beast resembled a water-pipe; another felt its ear, and said it must be a large fan; another its leg, and thought it must be a pillar; another felt its back, and declared the beast must be like a great throne. According to the part which each felt, he gave a different description of the animal.

87 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:15:35pm

re: #85 CuriousLurker

I have been waiting to comment on this because I really liked what you wrote, because I know that a tiff with me started this and because I did not want to detract from the good things you wrote and make this about me.

I do not have a beef with you. I have always respected you.

Contrary to what some histrionic people say here about me hating Muslims or going Kahanist, I haven't. The comparison to Gellar et al is especially hurtful.

I hope you recall all the many times I have supported Muslim rights in this country (as I would for any American) and been at pains to differentiate between different Muslim groups.

That said...

I am not hopeful for peace in the region. The status quo has too many outside parties invested in keeping it that way and most importantly, the Palestinian leadership, such as it is, has never ever wanted peace and the Palestinian street (i.e. the majority) certainly does not.

Before we go on, not all Palestinians. All you concern trolls please re-read not all.

The only way peace can happen is if the Palestinians start building their own society in a productive and sustainable manner that does not make them the endless pawns of multiple other players, be they regional like Iran and Saudi Arabia or international, like the US, Europe Russia and China.

It really comes down to oil leverage, but that is another discussion.

In the mean time, my comments about the Temple and Napalm and everything else that infuriated you should be addressed. You are one of the very few people who even acknowledges that the Temple was the Temple.

For Muslims, it is obvious that if they think something is holy, then it is theirs of course! In general I agree with that completely - just as I would for anyone else. My exception is when Muslims - or anyone else claim something that does not belong to them. A Jew needs to be a beggar in his own land. This is very angering. We are the only ones asked to do this.

Some here think that makes me a fundamentalist. That shows how little they know. Very observant Jews see the mosques on the Temple and see it as proof that moshiach has not yet arrived. Since they believe that it is lost to us until he rebuilds it, they are able to ignore the intended insult of the mosques - built over our site, to mark us as submissive in our own land.

For me. I would be ok with even that, as a sacrifice for peace - if we actually had peace.

Instead we do not even have the truth of it acknowledged. Abbas for instance wrote his PhD. thesis on the lie that there never even was a Temple. That should tell you something about what we have to work with.

One look at what they teach their kids or where the aid per capita - which is greater than for any other people on the planet goes shows how little that side wants peace. One listen to their speeches about killing all Jews will tell you from their own lips.

What we have is a state that can only deteriorate to my mind. We have a foe that voted for war. They literally did when they voted for Hamas. Again, not all Palestinians - and certainly not the children who always suffer when adults make war. However, war has been made and it hits my people and their children and people I know and love again and again.

I am sick of my people being the sacrifice for a peace that will never come.

I am sick of my holy sites being a sacrifice for a peace that will never come.

If it comes to war, then there was to mind mind, never a group that asked for it more than the Palestinians in attack after attack, day after day.

I am telling you that I am not alone in thinking this way after many years of praying for peace.

I am telling you that the Palestinians will one day do something horrific enough that all hell breaks out. In that day, there will be a blood bath and then afterwords, much like in the case of Germany and Japan 70 years ago, perhaps something can rise from the ashes.

88 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:29:48pm

And also as I wrote earlier...

CL says the Temple was Jewish...

Suddenly it is again...

With the exception of Alouette, you are cowards.

89 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:46:31pm

re: #88 LudwigVanQuixote

And also as I wrote earlier...

CL says the Temple was Jewish...

Suddenly it is again...

With the exception of Alouette, you are cowards.

STOP IT, Ludwig. You claim to respect m, yet you're now using this page to taunt people and bring contentiousness to what has so far been a peaceful thread. If you persist I will delete the entire page.

I was going to respond to your #87, but now I don't want to. And I won't. Just go away and leave me alone with people I can talk to.

90 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:49:40pm

re: #89 CuriousLurker

I am very sorry you feel that way.

Is it not lost on you that the Muslima says the Temple was Jewish and suddenly people on this thread can too? It is not lost on this Jew, and very germane to my points.

This is not a dig at you at all.

Again, I am very sorry you think I am digging at you. I am even more sorry that you think, I think this is about me.

It is most pointedly not about me.

91 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 1:52:31pm

re: #10 ~Fianna

If it's any consolation to you, there is a segment of American Jewry (and some in Israel, as well) that agree with you. It's a rough discussion and part of the reason why I haven't been around LGF lately. I find it's not worth the argument and that in general someone says something stupid that makes me lose a lot of respect for them. I'm super-glad that I've missed this latest round.

It's even gotten to the point where my husband and I are uncomfortable going to synagogue because the level of "Team Israel, YAH!! KILL EM ALL" is, frankly, somewhat sickening. (And by "uncomfortable" I mean we've left our congregation and celebrated Pesach entirely at home this year - it got that bad).

The political structure on both sides in that region have a lot vested in keeping tensions high and I don't think a few lives here or there really much bother either side as long as it keeps their power entrenched.

Thank you for your heartfelt response. It IS a consolation, so thank you for that as well. I generally avoid the discussions too, partially for the same reasons you do, but also because I'm still trying to educate myself about much of it.

I'm very sorry to hear that you & your husband have become uncomfortable going to synagogue. I know how important community can be, especially during religious festivals, but you have to do what you feel is best for your family. Family is, after all, the most important thing.

92 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:02:56pm

re: #12 _RememberTonyC

Nice post, CL. I can think of very few issues that make emotions run higher than the conflict between Israel and it's neighbors. I appreciate the way you have presented your feelings. It was done in an intellectually honest way. And it showed respect for others, including those you have disagreed with. I have always felt that one of the most important 20th century leaders was Anwar el Sadat because he saw how destructive hatred was and moved decisively to end it. Sadly, he was taken far too soon. I believe that he would have brought democratic progress to Egypt in much the same way that he brougt hope and a measure of peace to Israel. I truly believe that the only hope for Mideast peace is for other figures like Sadat to emerge. Of course there is blame on both sides of this conflict. But if Sadat was able to make nice with an old warhorse like Menachem Begin, someone like Sadat can hopefully do the same with Israel's current and future leaders.

Thanks, RTC. I agree that it will undoubtedly take some very strong statesmen on both sides to help resolve this. Now you've made me curious about Sadat & Begin. Do you happen to know of any good biographies on them? Or maybe I should look for autobiographies? It would be a while before I could get to them as I'm already juggling half a dozen books, but I'd still like to have them on my list as I'm sure both of them led very interesting lives.

93 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:04:32pm

re: #13 ~Fianna

I'd also mention Rabin there, too. His assassination was an absolute tragedy for Israel and for the world.

And there's another I need to read about. :)

94 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:19:48pm

re: #83 zora

you have a comprehension problem or you are willfully ignorant. what can be said?

Again.... not very constructive, or civilized of you...

Please explain where I erred. What in my post was so obviously ignorant?

95 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:27:06pm

re: #15 reine.de.tout

Great post {{{CL}}}, naturally; and I say "naturally" because it's everything I've come to expect from you, and it's very clear, well-written, and importantly, non-accusatory. You've added greatly to any discussion you've been a part of, and I'm glad you are here.

We all hope and pray for peace in the mideast, and MOST of us wish no harm on anyone of either side. It's the calm and rational discussions one can have (or just read while lurking) here LGF that add to everyone's understanding of situations and positions.

Thank you, {{{reine}}}}.

I do know that most of the people here wish no harm on anyone and look forward to the day, however far off it may be, when both Israelis & Palestinians can live in peace and security. I wish there was some way, like in the movies, to magically make everyone live in the other's skin for a while. Maybe that would make a difference.

96 Buck  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:41:25pm

re: #84 CuriousLurker

I didn't even know that one comment was deleted. I don't even understand why. I didn't generalize about all muslim people... I talked about a building. It is my opinion that the building ruins the look of the beautiful old city of Jerusalem. I didn't call for it's removal, I just hate how it looks. Off topic here....

But, hey you asked for opinion, and discussion from Jews on LGF. If you pick and choose only the ones that agree with you, you will not get the wider understanding you seem to seek.

My post HERE #72 is nothing but civilized and constructive.
I am starting to think you are avoiding the questions I asked for a reason.

97 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:51:03pm

re: #20 OrionXP

I won't deny that there is anti-Semitism amongst Muslims. There is. IMO, some of it is based on ignorance and some of it on attitudes that have been imported from the ME. Then there are those who are, well, who are just bigoted jackasses pure & simple. It's not a valid excuse, but it doesn't take too many negative experiences for someone to decide that The Other™ is an enemy worthy only of scorn & mistrust.

This is true with all groups I think, but anti-Semitism seems to be one of the oldest, longest running, and most widespread forms of bigotry around. I'm not sure why. It makes no sense to me why Jews should be singled out.

98 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:54:13pm

I'm going to make a quick request of everyone: Please, please, please ignore the baiting and keep things positive, if only just for this one Page.

99 McSpiff  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 2:56:39pm

re: #98 CuriousLurker

I'm going to make a quick request of everyone: Please, please, please ignore the baiting and keep things positive, if only just for this one Page.

The fact that this type of discussion is even happening a serious way is a good sign. The ME will get there. Its better today than it was 60,40,30 years ago.

100 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:00:54pm

re: #99 McSpiff

[Video]

The fact that this type of discussion is even happening a serious way is a good sign. The ME will get there. Its better today than it was 60,40,30 years ago.

Thanks, {{McSpiff}}.

Your video is blocked in the US, so here's one that works:

101 Jimmi the Grey  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:03:23pm

I'm kind of a new kid around these parts, and lurk alot, but I just wanted you to know this page was a prime example of why I DO read this blogsite and was willing to reg.

Thanks for reading this far

Was a pleasure. Thank you for sharing it. If you're ever in Portland Metro you just come to my cafe and I'll 'buy' you a coffee/latte...while I listen to you and pick your brain about a topic I'm woefully ignorant about.

102 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:12:48pm

re: #21 Stanley Sea

You bring to the table a calm, rational discussion. I've learned much. I respect both (I hate to say sides, that sucks) aspects of this discussion. It always comes down to regular people for me. Politicians on both sides use the situation to stay in power or whatever, dismissing the regular mothers, fathers and children. It's a naive view I'm sure, but I'm not letting it go, and promise to try to learn more and not blindly believe everything I read.

Bottom line, I hate racism of any kind. I will not tolerate it.

Thanks Curious Lurker.

{{{Stanley}}} Your naivete is one of the things I love about you. You know why? Because it IS about regular people—regular people not so much different than you & me are the ones who suffer most. You're right to never let that go.

103 McSpiff  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:21:27pm

re: #100 CuriousLurker

Thanks, {{McSpiff}}.

Your video is blocked in the US, so here's one that works:

[Video]

re: #100 CuriousLurker

Thanks, {{McSpiff}}.

Your video is blocked in the US, so here's one that works:

[Video]

Heh that's gotta be irony right, the video I posted encouraging international co-operation is blocked based on country...

{{CL}}

What you wrote was beautiful. Its also spawned a pretty amazing discussion. You really brought Jews, Muslims, Americans, etc to the table, and it looks to me like all the issues have been expressed clearly and respectfully.

Might have been sparked initially by a fairly ugly comment, but I really like how this turned out.

104 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:34:20pm

re: #22 Locker

Great letter man. Your observations and experience aren't unique. I've been called an anti-semite here for admiring Gandhi and for asking questions to inform myself.

It's also been insinuated, by some, that any criticism of Israeli policies, actions or statements makes one an anti-semite. It has further been insinuated that suggesting any level of Israeli responsibility for the negative aspects of the Israel/Palestine situation makes one an anti-semite.

I disagree and further suggest that the above attitude completely chokes off any avenue of conversation on the subject. With regard to the very, very many lizards who do NOT engage in this type of behavior I sincerely thank you for fostering a fertile environment for discussion.

I feel you. It's a tough subject to talk about because of all the emotion involved, so a lot of people (myself included) end to stay away from it. In a way, I understand what may sometimes seem like knee-jerk accusations of anti-Semitism, at least when it's coming from Jewish members. Islamophobia may not be as long-standing or or widespread as anti-Semitism, and Muslims haven't experienced anything on the scale of the Holocaust, but even so it's still there and it gets pretty damned vicious sometimes. It doesn't take a lot to make you kinda twitchy & extra sensitive about those things. I know because sometimes I see it where it doesn't actually exist.

I know a lot of times we want to talk calmly about events as they're happening, but when things get heated it's simply not possible. It should be and it can be, but still sometimes it just isn't. In those instances I just wait until later. What else can you do?

105 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:40:30pm

re: #103 McSpiff

Heh that's gotta be irony right, the video I posted encouraging international co-operation is blocked based on country...

{{CL}}

What you wrote was beautiful. Its also spawned a pretty amazing discussion. You really brought Jews, Muslims, Americans, etc to the table, and it looks to me like all the issues have been expressed clearly and respectfully.

Might have been sparked initially by a fairly ugly comment, but I really like how this turned out.

LOL, you're right about the blocking!

You know, you're even more right about that second part—it DID turn out pretty darned well. Thanks for pointing that out!

//And as a bonus I even got a real, full cyber hug from you instead of one of those awkward sideways ones. Woohoo, progress! ;o)

106 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:51:21pm

re: #101 Jimmi the Grey

I'm kind of a new kid around these parts, and lurk alot, but I just wanted you to know this page was a prime example of why I DO read this blogsite and was willing to reg.

Was a pleasure. Thank you for sharing it. If you're ever in Portland Metro you just come to my cafe and I'll 'buy' you a coffee/latte...while I listen to you and pick your brain about a topic I'm woefully ignorant about.

Thank you, Jimmy. I don't think we've crossed paths yet, so let me also give you a belated "Welcome!" I hope you'll lurk less as you get more comfortable here. We hiss & growl a lot, but we can't actually bite you, so the worst injury you can sustain is a badly bruised ego or hurt feelings. :)

If I'm ever in Portland I promise to look you up. I'm the worst sort of java junkie and could never turn down the offer of a free cup, especially when it comes with good conversation!

107 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 3:54:30pm

Gosh, time is flying today. It's almost 7pm on the East Coast. I need to have some dinner and then come back and finish responding to everyone.

Gah! I just realized it's Friday and that means many people are gonna disappear for Shabbos. Oh well, it's not as if my replies are going to disappear between sunset and tomorrow. Enjoy your rest, folks.

108 McSpiff  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 4:03:02pm

re: #105 CuriousLurker

...you have a scarily good memory! Enjoy your dinner!

109 Stanghazi  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 4:43:48pm

re: #87 LudwigVanQuixote


I am telling you that the Palestinians will one day do something horrific enough that all hell breaks out. In that day, there will be a blood bath and then afterwords, much like in the case of Germany and Japan 70 years ago, perhaps something can rise from the ashes.

It's a two, or three or four sided situation. You are putting everything on one side only. To me that is absolutely impossible.

That is what you show to us, and boy it does show, and it doesn't make sense. Again, I provide your duly elected dude Avigdor Lieberman and the hateful racist things he says.

110 Stanghazi  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 4:54:36pm

Sorry CL, I took the bait!!!

111 What, me worry?  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:14:38pm

My friend! I just found your post and read through it. My apologies for being late to the party.

Lawhawk (#26) and Alouette (#68) spoke my mind and LVQ at #87 (but not so much after!). Forgive me all for missing some prior discussions this week, but I needed a break after last week. It really disturbed me, too, CL. And I appreciate your writing this post and all the wonderful responses.

I don't know if we'll ever be able to discuss this topic civilly without the biting sarcasm or obvious anger. Maybe it's just that civility is for gardens and music, but not so much for religion and land rights! I do, however, understand the rage and hopelessness of LGF posters, even what it gets nasty. I understand it. It doesn't mean I agree with it, but I get the emotion. I feel it too and have certainly expressed it.

I don't know where that leaves us, other than we are but a microcasm in the great macrocasm, yes? If we can sling around the mud and keep coming back to the table, maybe there's hope yet.

Rock on, CL :)

112 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 9:34:05pm

re: #25 prononymous

I have definitely found this to be the case. In my experience you have interacted with members of other religions, and those of us without religion in a fair and respectful manner. I wish as much could be said for some other members here.

As for your perspective on the Israel/Palestine, I find it to be similar to my own. You express it quite eloquently. Thank you.

Than you, prononymous. Let me go OT to tell you that I've always enjoyed your avatar and I get a chuckle out of your your message. You must be a science guy. Being an artsy type, when I see creatures as ethereally fantastical as jellyfish my imagination goes wild. They also make me think of dreadlocks, thanks to DreamWorks. :)

113 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 10:45:32pm

re: #111 marjoriemoon

Who cares about late? I'm just glad you made it, my friend!

I understand the sarcasm, anger, and hopelessness, though surely not as viscerally as Jews & Arabs do. That's why I mostly stay out of the conversations when emotions are running high, even when some of the stuff being said makes me twitch. Still, there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed in a public forum.

To put it in religious a religious frame, being civil to people we like or agree with is easy. Avoiding sin when there are no temptations is easy. Trusting God and being thankful when things are going well is easy. Those are not tests of our mettle—it's only when we're confronted with people we dislike, when we're surrounded by temptations, when we're down to our last dollar or suffering form poor health that the real test begins. At least that's how I understand it.

I don't think it's impossible to discuss the subject without sarcasm & anger, but it requires a conscious effort to do so. A blog or other largely anonymous public forum isn't really conducive to that though. If you're sitting in front of someone face to face I think it might be better. It would also be a lot harder because when we hurt or anger someone in person, then we're confronted with actually seeing the very real effect that our words have instead of letting the facelessness of the internet shield us from it.

That right there is the blessing & curse of it. We have instant access to many, many people we would otherwise never meet, but we feel a step removed from the humanity of those we interact with.

Words. How many people are reading our words here? This page currently has 1100+ views and it has only been in existence for about 33 hours. The thread where all the upheaval started is just under a week old and it has 26,637 views. How many people will read our words in the space of a year, two years, three?

Who are all those people reading? Many of them are probably LGF members or silent lurkers, but how many scores more are total strangers to this blog? What will they think when they read my words? If it's apparent that I'm Muslim and I say something hateful or angry in a thread, might I not cause some unknown, unseen soul out there to start having a bad opinion of Muslims? Words matter. Even if it's "just a blog" and no one knows my real identity.

Yes, we are a microcosm and we're all stuck on this planet together, like it or not, for better or worse. Personally, I'm trying really hard to be part of the "better" and not contribute to the already substantial "worse". I think we're compelled to keep coming back to the table because the only other option is endless bloodshed, rage, and grief.

114 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 10:57:53pm

re: #26 lawhawk

Thanks, lawhawk! I apologize for not quoting your entire comment, but my reply probably wouldn't fit if I did. :)

I very much appreciate all the details you've provided (including those in your #32). Your writing is always very lucid and easy to digest, and the things you've pointed out have have given me a good list of points to be aware of as I read & feel my way around.

But the Israel-Palestinian conflict is just a part of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict, and again it comes down to a refusal to accept what the Arab regimes have long considered an interloper and illegitimate entity and where the rhetoric borders (and sometimes crosses over into) the genocidal. Israel has to have a partner in peace here as well - and those are sorely lacking. Perhaps the best we can hope for is a status quo where the lack of an open war is the best we can do unless regimes change and stop hurling invective at Israel and begin seeing it as a possible partner in advancing human rights and the quality of life of all in the region. Clearly natural resources have not gotten it done for the ME regimes that are sitting on oodles of oil - and those pools of oil are slowly drying up. They're going to need something different. Something more. And Israel is at the forefront of that research.

That last bit there is something that never really occurred to me, but you're absolutely right. Thanks for bringing up so many important points.

115 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 11:12:51pm

re: #27 PhillyPretzel

Peace is a wonderful ideal; if we can get it. I for one would love to see two nations working toward that one goal. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world who do not understand that concept. All they understand is domination of the loser and they do not care how they do it as long as they are the victor.

I agree, there are some people who only want to dominate, to win, no matter what the cost. But I'm still a firm believer that the good people in the world outnumber the bad. If they didn't I think our species would have gone extinct long ago. To me, history looks like a long series of contractions & expansions traveling around the world—periods of terrible darkness & destruction that seem to provide fertilizer for periods of amazing flowering & growth that follow. I hope a new expansion will soon follow for everyone in the ME.

116 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 11:19:07pm

re: #28 Simply Sarah

Well, I don't think I can add much to what people here have already said, other than to say that, since I've been here, I've constantly found you to be one of the more thoughtful, understanding, respectful, and interesting posters. What you've said here only furthers those feelings in my mind. I, like so many others, am glad that you are part of the community and look forward to seeing your continued strong contributions in the future.
{{CL}}

Thank you, {{Simply Sarah}}.

I admire the fact that you haven't hesitated to jump right into the mix with the rest of us, and your comments always strike me as thoughtful and well balanced. I'm glad to have you here as well and hope you stay for a long time. :)

117 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 11:44:46pm

re: #30 firstinla

CL: great missive. I've been away from LGF for a while for various reasons, one of which was increasingly nasty and bitter sparring. I came to LGF because I always learned so much. I got very tired of the "fuck you" comments when posters disagreed with each other. I appreciate your letter and have enjoyed your other postings. Keep at it. You are a sane voice in an increasingly insane world.

Thanks, firstinla. :)

Now that you mention it, I realize you have indeed been MIA and I haven't really had a chance to get to interact with you and know you. We should fix that. Would you consider maybe dropping by the Pages one in a while to chat? No pressure, it's just a thought since it's really easy with the individual RSS feeds set up they way they are now.

I know what you mean about needing to stay away when things get bitter. I'm kinda-sorta on hiatus from the main threads myself for a bit right now.

118 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 29, 2011 11:49:52pm

re: #110 Stanley Sea

Sorry CL, I took the bait!!!

Don't MAKE me get up out of this chair, young lady!!

119 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 12:06:12am

re: #44 dragonfire1981

I could have written this. I have great respect for the Jewish people and religion BUT I don't overwhelmingly agree with everything Israel does. Frankly I think both sides carry a fair bit of blame in the conflict.

I am by no means an expert on Israel but I do understand basic human nature and can't say I am surprised at how things have unfolded there. When you have two sides opposing each other and both refusing to compromise, the eventual outcome is always the same: A long and drawn out conflict in which both sides entrench themselves for the long haul.

Yeah, human nature kinda sucks a lot of the time and, unfortunately, biological evolution is a slow process. I guess we've never been an exactly peaceful lot to begin with, but we can and have evolved in terms of behavior. We just haven't evolved enough to deal with the times we live in. *sigh*

We really need to get with the program, and if some groups have fallen behind, then we need to do everything we can to figure out how to help them instead of berating them as being somehow culturally deficient. IMO, we'd do well to humbly remember that there was a time not so very long ago when we were the ones who were lagging.

120 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 12:17:26am

re: #45 calochortus

CL, I'm not Jewish, so this wasn't exactly addressed to me, but it was thoughtful and heartfelt, and I appreciate your posting it.

Like Elizajane I stay out of discussions of Israeli politics because it is the one area of LGF where passions seem to override the usual bounds of our discussions. I believe there is right and wrong on both (all?) sides and that all people deserve a safe place to live in peace and dignity. I'm also not naive enough to believe that we'll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya any time soon. What we deserve is not necessarily what we get.

Well, even though this was addressed to the Jewish members, it was really for everyone, so I thank you for your kind words.

It seems like we need a special round table thread for all the posters who are put of or intimidated by the overheated discussions about the I-P conflict. Maybe with a bouncer at the door to throw out anyone who gets too aggressive, heh. How does that sound? Yeah, I know, snowball's chance in hell of that happening. ;o)

That last part of your comment? Quoted & bolded for truth.

121 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 12:32:49am

re: #46 Romantic Heretic

Thanks, CL, for an uplifting post. It gives me the courage to post my own thoughts.

Those thoughts always drift to two books by David Drake, specifically At Any Price and Rolling Hot.

[...]

Thank you for chiming in. I don't hear your thoughts as often as I'd like to—your comments are always courteous & well-measured and your voice is always one of compassion. That's something I value very highly.

The books sound interesting & thought provoking. I've never cared much for sci-fi, but I do enjoy a good fantasy novel once in a while. I'll take a look at Mr. Drake's site and see what he has to say. :)

These scenes sum up my thoughts on the Israel/Palestine situation. There are too many people who think that as long as the conflict endures they will have power, and most people just want the shooting to stop.

QFT

122 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 12:55:09am

re: #55 justaminute

Life would be so great if we could work out the world's problems on a blog. ;) I learned to leave my preconceived notions of anyone's religion behind me; because more often than not it was wrong. When I married my husband the arguments we had on the Muslim faith were epic. When I went to Iran it changed in a lot of ways that are two numerous to mention.

I would indeed be a wonderful thing if we could solve the world's problems here. It's funny how our preconceived ideas of pretty much anything are usually way off base. I've been guilty of that plenty of times myself. Oof, I can only imagine the arguments you must've had.

While I will never convert, my whole attitude towards religion has changed. In some ways it is resentful because it causes, in my opinion, a whole multitude of various problems. My dealings with people who believe differently than me is to try to not say anything to denigrate their religion. It is not my journey in life to talk with authority on religion but to observe it.

That's a really good & healthy attitude to have, IMO. As for the first part, I think the problem is people. We can can take a perfectly good concept and then totally screw it up with our...our...egos? Our bickering, greed, envy, pride, etc. (It's almost 4am and I'm not sure exactly what word I'm looking for.)

I was raised in the Christian faith (that's a whole other page) and closely observed the Muslim faith by marrying into a family that practices it. But I learned that how they practice it brings arguments from other Muslims. That's why I remain a dedicated observer. The Jewish faith, I am slightly above clueless but I really like the people of the Jewish faith that I have met here.

Yep, Muslims bicker amongst themselves plenty. I pretty much like everyone, and I adore stories, so I'm always reading fables, tales, and proverbs from other cultures & religions. Wisdom abounds in many places.

I really admire you. I believe your a convert to the Muslim faith and from what I know of you from your writings, you practice it well. You are a good person.

I admire you as well. As I mentioned previously, I love your obvious sincerity and you're always fair. And polite. You're polite even in situations where I totally would've gone off. Kudos to you for that. {{justaminute}}

//P.S. With your calm even-handedness, I bet you're really good at making your hubby & kids hang their heads in shame when they step out of line. ;o)

123 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 1:13:47am

re: #77 Bob Levin

Well, that was just about the messiest exchange possible. I believe the US negotiations with North Vietnam were smoother.

Yeah, the words were flying fast & furious. Thanks for being concerned enough to go back and slog through all that.

I don't even know where to begin--other than I applaud the efforts of everyone trying to derive content from comments so covered in thorns. Of course (surprising), folks couldn't quite get to the content, because there was always another layer of thorns.

It would have been nice if there could have been a discussion about Holy Sites, maybe the definition of Holy, but that discussion didn't take place.

Covered in thorns—that's a very apt description. Maybe we can have the discussion about the definition of Holy another time, after everyone's scratches have had a chance to heal up. I hope we can. I think it would be very interesting and probably enlightening. Definitions can be a bugbear when it comes to communication, especially when everyone has a different one.

I'll say this. Over the centuries religious institutions have defined religion in such a way as to make religious dialogue almost impossible. That's what has to be overcome, the layers of misunderstandings that masquerade as basic religious teaching. These misdirected definitions even make political discussions about the Middle East very difficult.

Even the notion of atheism is affected by these very poor definitions.

But, wow. What a mess.

I think you're onto something there. We have to talk about it more soon. Deal?

124 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 1:51:41am

re: #78 imp_62

CuriousLurker:
I am going to avoid turning my response into a commentary on Middle East politics or religious philosophy. Your letter here touched me as having been written by that most elusive of creatures: the open minded, kind-hearted, intellectually honest citizen of the world. I overcame my own early suspicions as to your motives and feelings and decided in my exchanges with you that if you were willing to take risks, then, well, so would I. I have learned from you, and I thank you for being willing to expose yourself to the sniping and hurtfulness that is too frequently the fallout of blog discussions, even in a "community" such as LGF.

I'm sorry for taking so long to respond to you, but there were an awful lot of good comments that I felt deserved more than a simple up-ding. Yours may be last, but it's far from the least.

You actually made me tear up a little with your honesty. There are few people who are willing to admit that they initially harbored suspicions about someone, and you know what? Knowing that you pushed them aside and decided to take a chance with me makes what you're saying all the more meaningful. Thank you for that—you grew about 10 feet taller in my eyes for having enough true grit to come out and say that.

I like to think that if we met in person, you would deign to become my friend. I know I would like you a lot. Here is hoping that you regain the necessary perspective to come back, and the necessary strength to take the inevitable pain. The world would be a better place for more people like you.

I think you're right—we would be friends if we ever met in person, and I know I would like you a lot as well. If you're ever in the NYC area, let me know ahead of time and I'll make a point of coming to meet you.

Barring death or natural disaster, I'll come back (to the main discussions) in a few days. I haven't bothered reading through most of the threads since yesterday, but I did happen upon your comment about coming to look for me. I know you were frustrated, but I couldn't help giggling (and I was also quite touched by it).

As for the pain that comes with exposure, I mentioned to someone yesterday that I supposed it was a sort of growing pain. :)

125 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 2:14:01am

re: #62 Ericus58

A soul journey of a Post, CL.
Your words and the following posts by others here was very much in need after yesterday.
As we discuss and ponder some of the worlds most vexing topics and sources of strife, my only hope is that we here - the Lizard community - retain the respect due each other.

Yikes, I almost overlooked you.

A soul journey—what a perfect phrase!

You're right about the responses. When I wrote this Page I didn't realize that so many other people were also feeling deeply disturbed by things that were said. But as McSpiff pointed out, the kerfuffle seems to have ended on a pretty positive note for most. I'm grateful for whatever good each of us can take from the experience.

Thank you Curious Lurker for joining our band of misfits on this journey.

Thanks to all of you for accepting me into your caravan. Onwards and upwards, Lizards!

126 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 2:27:30am

re: #77 Bob Levin

I was just reminded of a story about communication:

Once upon a time long ago, a famous wealthy man passed by a town. He stopped his caravan outside a busy restaurant and motioned to four people to approach him. They rushed toward him, and he presented them with a gold coin and said, “This money is to be shared amongst you,” and then he went on his way.

The first was a Persian and he said, “With this money I will buy some angur!”

The second was an Arab and he said, “No, you can’t because I want to buy inab!”

The third was a Turk and he said, “I don’t want inab, I want uzum!”

The fourth was a Greek and he said, “I don’t want what any of you want, I want to buy stafil!”

Since they did not know what lay behind the names of things, the four started to fight. They had information, but no knowledge.

Luckily, a wise man was on his way to the restaurant. He paused to see what was going on and then asked them, “What is the problem here?”

They told him and he said, “Ah! I can fulfill the wishes of all of you with one and the same gold coin. If you honestly give me your trust, your one gold coin will become as four, and four at odds will become as one united.”

Only a person of such wisdom would know that each in his and her own language wanted the same thing—grapes. So happens to many cultures, ideas, religions, that have many things in common, but they are not aware of it.

—From Rumi's Masnavi

127 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 3:05:23am

Woohoo, I finally made it to the end of the comments!

You guys have been amazing. So many responses straight from the heart. As I've already mentioned a couple of times up-thread, I never expected this kind of response. I'm humbled and touched by your thoughts. Your kindness & compassion has not only managed to dispel any lingering rancor in my heart, it has replaced it with happiness & feelings of good-will. You have displayed the very best & most noble aspects of our human nature, and for that I am deeply thankful.

As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of folk stories and the like, so I will leave you for now with this one about Eshu, a West African trickster deity/spirit. This is a composite of different versions, all of which have the same message:

Eshu's Hat

There were once two farmers who had adjoining plots of land. All of their lives they had been the best of friends and had made a pact never to argue with each other.

One day Eshu decided to play a trick on them. He put on a tall hat which was black on one side and white on the other, then proceeded to walk down the path that divided the two farms. As he sauntered between the fields he made a point of exchanging pleasantries with each of the men. Later, when it time for Eshu to walk back down the path in the opposite direction, he turned the hat around front to back and went back the way he had come, again passing both men in their fields.

Later that day the friends got to talking about the man with the hat. Each insisted that, since he had seen BOTH sides of the hat, he was 100% certain that he was correct about its color and that the other was either blind, lying, or just plain crazy. The quarrel became so violently out of proportion that the king eventually heard about it and had all of the parties summoned.

Upon their arrival at the palace Eshu informed the king that neither man was a liar, but that both were fools. He removed his hat and showed the former friends each side, explaining how he had tricked them. He then turned the hat inside-out and showed them that it was actually red.

Here's a big squishy {{{group hug}}} for all of you. ;o)

128 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 3:17:37am

re: #59 ozbloke

CuriousLurker,
Much appreciate you being here.
I find you both polite and courteous, and enjoy reading your posts.

Oops, missed you too. Thank you, ozbloke, the feeling is mutual.

If I missed anyone else, please accept my apologies. Exhausted...Must..Sleep.

129 Bob Levin  Sat, Apr 30, 2011 7:26:33pm

re: #123 CuriousLurker

You read my mind. I've been thinking about this all day. Deal.


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