Double Collective Insanity

An injured Palestinian boy in Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital, after Israel air strikes in Gaza on July 8. (Photo Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images, courtesy of Al Jazeera America)

At this moment, everybody’s job should be to lower the flames.
— Tzipi Livni, Justice Minister of Israel

Retribution-kidnappings. Revenge-killings. Retaliatory violence.

In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the cyclic and spiraling events of June have literally bled into July, with Hamas firing rockets into Israel and Israel striking Gaza hard. (At the time of this post on July 9th, according to Al-Monitor and the Gaza Ministry of Health, 20 of the 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli air strikes were civilians, including 13 children and 7 women.)

With a view to the madness and in the spirit of prayers for Palestinians and Israelis who are also men, women and children, I offer this meditation by quotation.


Meditation by Quotation

Ideologies can become interwoven in such a way that they synergize one another, thereby accentuating the cumulative negative consequences. Even viciously opposed ideologies can become entangled in such a way that they inadvertently collaborate to create powerful, explosive responses in and through each other.
— Bob Goudzwaard, "Hope in Troubled Times"
How much cruelty is occasioned simply because of the noise that is within us: the din is too great to realize exactly what we are doing to others, or what is being done to others in our name. Thus a whole country can be organized toward some collective insanity because there is no space in individuals to think.
— Christian Wiman, "My Bright Abyss"
I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring.
— Erich Maria Remarque, "All Quiet on the Western Front"
Isaac, as the story goes, was not

sacrificed. He lived for many years,

saw what pleasure had to offer,

until his eyesight dimmed.



But he bequeathed that hour to his offspring.

They are born with a knife in their hearts.
— Hayim Gouri, "Heritage"

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Crafty Humor

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