I’ve been thinking a lot about the violence happening in and between Gaza Strip/West Bank and Israel now [Hamas and the Israeli government], and how because this is so complex and there is so much history predating October 7th it has seemed impossible for me to make a statement of what I believe. So I am grateful to find something written by someone else that speaks to where my heart and mind are at this time that I would like to share with my friends.
Michael Mayhew wrote on 12-30-2023 and I gratefully share with permission:
“Sigh. Everything about that situation breaks my heart, and the fact that so much of the response in this country is expressed as some sort of taking-sides/binary equation is equally heartbreaking. Not many people left who can simultaneously hold the ideas that a Jewish state is a historical necessity AND that the people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an absolute right to autonomy and self governance without having their territory being stolen piece by piece. Or the thought that the Hamas attack on October 7th was an absolute evil, and the deliberate positioning of Hamas headquarters and tunnels in densely-packed civilian areas is designed to provoke atrocities AND that the indiscriminate Israeli bombing of those civilian areas is clearly a war crime. To hold all of that in your head is exhausting and heartbreaking, but to me it is the absolutely essential first step for anything in that part of the world ever getting any better. I’m not sure if there are many these days with an interest in viewing people and events in their full complexity, with empathy for all.”