From: L. Michael Hall
2023 Neurons #45
October 23, 2023
* This is my opinion *
The Israel–Hamas War
A PSYCHOLOGICAL SOLUTION
The superficial, biased, and non-journalistic press would have us believe that the war is between Israel and Palestine. But that is actually not true. Palestine did not attack Israel, Hamas did. As an extreme terrorist group, Hamas attacked the Festival in Southern Israel, killing 260 civilizations, captured some 200 hostages, and beheaded babies. At the same time, Hamas sent 5,000+ missiles into Israel. No wonder Israel responded by sending bombs to where Hamas’ missiles originated. Since the beginning, Hamas has sent 7,000 missiles into Israel and another Terrorist group, Islam Jihodist, fired a missile that hit a hospital in Gaza killing three dozen Palestinians. (Then Hamas blamed Israel for it which the mainstream media picked up and repeated without checking the facts. Only now are they correcting that mistake.)
Of the three main players in this war, Hamas is a terrorist organization which is using Palestine to try to achieve its agenda of destroying Israel. In spite of years of attempts to create a two state solution, to enable Palestine to be an independent state, it was Hamas who rejected those solutions. Most recently they rejected the Abraham Accords. Why? Because they are extremists. They have taken their religion to an extreme position and in doing so have become totally and rigidly intolerant. That’s the problem. When anyone takes any religion or philosophy to an extreme position—they become an intolerant cult. They become dogmatic, rigid, and irrational. You can’t reason with them.
In extremism thinking a person assumes that he is absolutely right, cannot be wrong, and “being right” can engage in any behavior no matter how savage, cruel, or criminal to achieve their outcomes. This is true for extremism in any and every group. Hamas just so happens to do that with Islam, as did Isis. The problem is not Islam, it is extremistic thinking.
What then is the solution? Tolerance. For there to be peace, there has to be the willingness to tolerate differences and to allow the other to be. What does it take to tolerate what we do not like or appreciate? Acceptance. It is acceptance, as a way of thinking and as an attitude, that enables us to acknowledge reality and facts.
This is what Hamas, as a terrorist organization, cannot do and will not do. Acceptance. From the Israeli military perspective, stopping Hamas will be the solution that Israel will opt for—as an act of self-defense. From a psychological perspective, the solution will be for the Palestinians and the Israeli to accept and tolerate each other’s right to exist as separate and independent nations. When the Palestinians accept and tolerate Israel, there will be no Hamas (or other terrorist organization to replace them). When Israel accepts and tolerates Patestine, they will grant them full autonomy and the right to self-determination. Then there can be peace and mutual respect.
But without that basic acceptance, there will be no peace. Individuals on both sides will look for revenge. They will quote different versions of their history to justify that they are “right,” that they have the “high moral ground,” and that they therefore (somehow) have the right to reek revenge on the other group. That is the structure for ongoing, never-ending violence and war. That is what has gone on repeatedly since the end of World War II and the establishment of Israel as a nation. And it does not work.
What will work is acceptance. Now acceptance is a psychological state—that is, a state of thinking and feeling, a state of mind-and-body. Acceptance is also a spiritual state. It is a state of willing to be the creature rather than the creator. When you accept, you take things as they are, you acknowledge them. You may not like them, you may not want to condone them, but you acknowledge what is. Only by acknowledging what is can you then begin to work toward change. You accept that it’s raining, then you grab an umbrella. You accept that there’s a traffic jam, and you turn on some enjoyable music or engage in a meaningful conversation.
Acceptance is inward peace and leads to contentment, not because the world is not perfect. It is not! You experience contentment because you know who you are as a creature within the world, not the creator. You are here for a little while, then you pass on. While you are here, accept the conditions that you find and then, from a state of acceptance, seek to make things better. That’s the ultimate solution for making the world a better place.
Rejecting what is, hating the conditions, wanting revenge on any “bad things” that happens —that’s a great way to spread the violence and perpetuated more bad things. That sets up a cycle of revenge, hatred, war, atrocities, brutality, criminality, and “man’s inhumanity to man.” Good luck with that approach!
The cure is a healthy and robust acceptance that leads to tolerance, respect for human beings, and forgiveness. Lots and lots of forgiveness so that we can “put the past behind us” and move forward to being the kind of persons we can be at our best.