Coping with inner conflicts and soaring body counts of near total collapse in Gaza
Dec 10, 2023
“A fight is going on inside you. It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, generosity, and faith. The same fight going on inside you is inside every other person too.” The child thought about it for a minute, then asked, “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied, “The one you feed.”
And can you sense pervasive angst? As endemic as Covid, it is throbbing with each new predictable fissure in Biden’s “rules-based” world order. A malaise of fear and contempt is keeping many of us up nights, ever since the invasion of Ukraine kicked off in the middle of a global pandemic, as if choking in an overwhelmed ER or vaporizing in a thermonuclear Armageddon were not enough.
To make matters worse, have you noticed a sense of greater or lesser uncertainty or worse, an urge to measure each word before weighing in on a controversy? The fear of losing another “friend” or colleague in a cancel culture of toxic bipartisanship drives or stifles most discourse. Those who have chosen dissent, or even regularly sound off against our exponential spiral, are tagged as radical or conspiratorial for coloring outside the lines of approved pro-war narrative. Sunk cost dissenter epithets include apologist (Saddam, Asad et al), Kremlin agent (for my Jill Stein votes), Putin puppet (a favorite catch-all), and incredibly or not, a white supremacist (you read correctly) for speaking and writing, with a heightened sense of urgency regarding US/Russia nuclear threats, all of them de facto deflections from much-needed dialogue.
And now, we’re antisemitic, for unequivocally supporting an end to Palestinian oppression and the ongoing carnage in Gaza, in spite of Jerusalem Declaration support for “the Palestinian demand for justice and the full grant of their political, national, civil and human rights, as encapsulated in international law.”
On Friday, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, but antiwar “radicals” like me are slammed publicly in the commons or surreptitiously from the safety of social media mobs.
More red meat for my inner Canis lupus.
The U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert A. Wood told the council he was the singular raised hand against “an imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way.” After more than 42 Security Council vetoes in support of unchecked Israeli occupation and oppression, I would guess the U.S. gave up on a reality-based assessment of Palestinian oppression pogroms ago.
Wood might also be right about moving the needle on the ground, in any direction, but what right do peace “radicals” have to back off now? The long-term consequences would be apocryphal, but no less devastating than one. more. dead. child.
Perhaps I am naïve, but I am just starting to grasp that for some of Israel’s supporters, including many Americans, many I have known in various capacities, even those I have called friends, there is simply no number of Palestinian deaths that will cause them to call for an end to this onslaught.
If the number wasn’t 5,000, if it wasn’t 10,000, if it isn’t 15,000, then there is no number.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe when we get to 20,000, or 25,000, or 30,000, their attitudes will shift. But how can we be asked to “hope” for this?
How can we — no, how can the millions of homeless, dehydrated, hungry, wounded, ill, and traumatized in Gaza — be asked to abide this?
Read complete piece on Substack.