Gaza, Ukraine and Possibility

Written by: Terry Link

Primary Source: Possibilitator

distressed by the recent violence in Gaza, we tried to offer something to address the killing, injury, destruction, and chaos that has been going on between Hamas and the Israeli military in recent weeks. We drafted a statement on the siege of Gaza which we put on our website, sent out to local media and supporters. In it we affirm the calls coming from many Israelis,

 Nobel Peace Laureates,

American Jews

and others concerned with the escalation of violence in that troubled region, pleading for a cessation.

We fully realize that this little action will not impact the immediate situation on the ground there today. We are not in control of the decision-makers on any side. But can we just stay silent? Friday, while I was attending the weekly peace vigil held at the state capitol, we were joined by a Palestinian mother and her two children. Members of her family in Ramallah (West Bank) had been shot with rubber bullets the day before at a rally protesting the Israeli offensive in Gaza. They were sore but ok she said. But her voice quivered in relating the experience.

I have read in the past few days several potent pieces that offer some glimpse of possibility out of this mayhem in which so many are suffering and so much wasted resources are being expended. These are not the kinds of things you will hear the typical pundits, politicians, or political analysts share. But they are powerful possibilities that should be more widely shared, reflected on, and discussed. Perhaps even attempted with more rigor than has been shown to date. Otherwise, we’ll be reviewing this depressing scene over and over in the months and years ahead.

As Einstein noted, the definition of insanity is the repeating of the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome. War and violence only breeds more of the same. Time for something new.

Please check out:

Tom Atlee “Enhancing the Lives of Both Palestinians and Israelis” 

     “The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is reaching another volcanic peak. Perhaps the biggest tragedy is the painfully familiar sense that it is all so unnecessary. Here and there I find commentators who offer insightful new directions and people on the ground working to make a positive difference. I share some of these points of light and then ask about the larger shifts needed if we wish to co-create flourishing lives together instead of collective tragedies…”

Charles Eisenstein  “A Restorative Response to MH 17”

“Aren’t they awful? Aren’t they appalling? How could they? They must be monstrous, evil, inhuman. The only way to deal with such people is to stand up to them, destroy them, send them a message, take a stand, deter them, show them it isn’t acceptable, hold them to account. Any other response is soft, weak, naïve.
      How many times have we heard this narrative repeated? A horrible event occurs: the downing of a jetliner, the murder of three Israeli teenagers, the destruction of the twin towers, gas attacks in Syria… and immediately the press and political classes pump up the narrative that whoever committed this atrocity did so because they are bad people – bad people who implicate a whole class of bad people that must be overcome with force…”

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Terry Link
Terry Link is a retired MSU librarian, former founding director of the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, and co-founder and former chair of the American Library Association’s Task Force on the Environment. He recently served as associate editor for the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices(Gale/Cengage 2014). He has also served as executive director of a regional food bank and as a county commissioner. Currently he is president of Starting Now, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm, a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and serves on numerous non-profit organization boards.
Terry Link

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