For thousands of years, if you believe in time, every effort spent in the search for peace seems to have led to the opposite. Perhaps it’s time to realize the answer lies is the effortless choice to be at peace. – James Miller
EDMONTON November 14, 2023 — Jesse Kline’s article’s headline, “Footage of Hamas barbarism shows why ceasefire is not an option”, in his National Post opinion piece might also be worded, “Brutality allows for no mercy,” which justifies Kline’s call for the annihilation of Gaza but without, of course, brutality. Only those deserving of death will be killed. This, Kline, is impossible. War is a brutal business in which the innocent and guilty are slaughtered alike.
Kline states that two things struck him from viewing videos of Hamas atrocities, “the sheer brutality and inhumanity of it” and the way those committing the atrocities celebrated their acts of violence.
He then goes on to detail a series of attacks on civilians and concludes, “After witnessing these horrors, it’s hard to disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s characterization of this as a ‘battle between civilization and barbarism.’ Which is clearly why Israeli officials have been screening this video for members of the foreign press over the past weeks.”
Thus, the observed depravity of those perpetrating the killings in Gaza becomes Kline’s excuse to enter the same dark arena of hatred. This sentiment is mirrored by a recent article in the Jerusalem Post “Hamas is pure evil, and our minds can’t fully comprehend their horror” by rabbi Moshe Taragin (which I rebut in my article Pure Love Comprehends All) who also tries to make a separation between Hamas and Israel. My article takes a religious and spiritual approach to conflict by referencing the teachings in the Torah, Bible and the newer spiritual masterworks, “A Course in Miracles”(ACIM), Journey Beyond Words (JBW) and The Other Voice (TOV).
Kline can’t understand how Israel’s innocence in the Gaza conflict isn’t obvious to the rest of the world.
“This is the other battle Israel is waging: an information war for the hearts and minds of the global public. Sadly, this is a fight in which Israel’s enemies clearly have the upper hand,” writes Kline, who notes, “For years, anti-Israel rhetoric fermented on university campuses and has now spilled out into the wider world, along with a vile progressive ideology that spurns western civilization and liberal values.”
Kline is dismayed that South Africa, “a country that surely knows the difference between an actual apartheid state and one that needs to build security barriers to prevent hostile neighbours from blowing up buses and mowing down hundreds of party-goers at a music festival — announced on Monday that it’s recalling all its diplomats from Israel and called for a ‘comprehensive cessation’ to the hostilities.”
Kline justifies the military incursion in Gaza by stating, “And herein lies the difference between civilization and barbarism: while Israeli officials repeatedly stress that they are not at war with the Palestinian people and take active steps to minimize civilian casualties, Hamas fighters are willing to shoot innocent children in their beds, burn their bodies and then revel in joy at the number of Jews they have hunted.”
Israel’s invasion, to my understanding, has created a humanitarian crisis that sees Palestinians in Gaza not only without food, water and medical supplies, but restricted from receiving that aid by Israel. To date, as many as ten thousand Palestinians may have died and there will surely be more. If Israel isn’t at war with the Palestinian people, it certainly looks like it. I also believe that living in conditions in Gaza have been abysmal for years, which has led South Africa, Ireland and other nations, as well as many people around the world that embrace “western civilization and liberal values”, to question Israel’s long-term approach to Gaza and its other admittedly hostile neighbors.
Peace between Israel and its neighbors is perhaps the most intractable problem of its kind, given the creation of the Israeli state on land already inhabited for centuries by those who were not Jewish. Palestinians and Muslims around the world must take their share of responsibility in working towards peace in Israel, instead of threatening to destroy it. Imagine the wealth of many of the Gulf States, combined with Israel’s active involvement, working to create a land of “milk and honey.” This is not impossible. It’s also what I believe Kline should be calling for in Gaza instead of its destruction.
Is it safe to call Kline a “warmonger”?
One wonders, when Kline’s reaction to those calling for restraint and a lasting and equitable peace in Gaza is both deaf and dismissive, which is curious because it’s exactly the insensitivity he sees in his supposed “enemies”, when he concludes.
“In truth, nothing that I or anyone else writes will change the minds of the Islamists and their useful idiots on the progressive left. But we should expect more from world leaders, who, aside from a few notable exceptions, have ranged from somewhat supportive of Israel but unwilling to lift a finger to help, to openly hostile.
“No world leader could watch scenes such as these take place in their own country and suggest that a ceasefire and a return to the status quo would be in any way tenable. But when Israel is the victim? Well, that’s a different story.”
I could end my rebuttal of Kline’s opinion piece here but let me, instead, suggest that Kline, Taragin (and, more recently, Rex Murphy) instead of justifying their rage read on, along with others interested in lasting peace round the world.
Simply put, this world has only one problem: The belief in separation. The belief that we are not united as One in one Creation.
Jesus spoke of our unity in John 17 beginning in Chapter 21:
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and has loved them, as thou hast loved me.
To believe that the oneness that is Creation can be split into “one and another” is to believe in an impossibility. Here is how Journey Beyond Words speaks about conflict in the Chapter One Problem – One Solution.
“Every time you perceive a problem whatsoever you are just imagining separation. That applies to every problem you can imagine – to enemies, even mortal enemies who would kill or destroy you, to other countries who might destroy your country, to persons you call friend, who might betray you, to the subtle things in your life, to the beliefs that you might not have enough money, or food, to the minor things like a sigh of tiredness, or a wisp of discouragement, to something as simple as stubbing your toe, or nicking your finger, or having a few hairs fall from your head when you wash your hair – all of these are but your dream.
All of these are your imaginings. All of these are your attempt to pretend that your problems have not been solved. All of these are your attempts to pretend that you can, somehow, be different of separate, from anything in your existence.
Again I say to you, it cannot be so. For there is only Oneness; there is only completeness. You are part of that Oneness; and part of that completeness. And though you can imagine all manner of problems, you cannot change that Oneness and the beauty that you are as the Son of God.
Try if you can, in your thinking, to pretend, to imagine, to daydream, if you will, that all of your experience, all or your world is, indeed not merely LIKE you, not just PART OF you, but actually IS YOU, your Self.
Try to imagine, try to daydream, if you will, what it might be like to know that your world IS, indeed, YOU.
Kline, Taragin and Murphy might well ask themselves: Do you want peace or war?
For the sane person peace is the only answer while pursuing peace through engaging in its opposite, war, is clearly insane. And it is this insanity that leads to war in the first place.
What this comes down to for me, on a personal basis, is the realization that the love I have for life and its experience, which includes everything and everyone, as part of my Self, supersedes the religious values and judgements that happen to be part of the belief system I identify with. Judgement is part of that story, Love is real. Do I approach and embrace the experience I find myself in? Do I also realize that I am generating my experience and that, because of that, I can choose to be happy, loving and supportive, or unhappy, fearful and justified in attack? And, logically then to realize, that the choice to be loving reinforces itself leading inevitably to the experience of your one Self as the ultimate, eternal Truth.