ON NEIGHBORS AND NUKES
It seemed that the Israelis were living in even more of a prison than the Palestinians. The degradation and humiliation that comes from an foreign oppressor is an external insult, one which the soul can resist. But the degradation of the human spirit that comes from relying on obscene gods to promise you some semblance of prosperity – that comes at the price of your soul. All of them must suffer from having to practice denial against all this, particularly their young people, as a result of doing their required time in the army. They are trained and equipped never to be able to think of the Palestinians as human beings, let alone neighbors.
And the taproot of their problem, as with the USA, is The Bomb.
Fr, Richard McSoreley, from whose hands I received the black sweatshirt I wear at the Women in Black vigils, famously said: “The taproot of violence in our society today is our intent to use nuclear weapons. Once we have agreed to that, all other evil is minor in comparison. Until we squarely face the questions of our consent to use nuclear weapons, any hope of large scale improvement of public morality is doomed to failure.”
The poor Israeli people, not only can they not squarely face their consent, they can’t even admit to the fact that they hold them. Like the leaders of our own country who prefer fables to facts, they pretend it ain’t so. It’s an official, state-sanctioned Mother Goose tale, officially believed in, sort of, by an entire population.
gods of the nation are idols of silver and gold,
That’s why they hate Mr. Vanunu so much: he kicked their precious false god in the shins. And as with any prophet who denounces the false idols of the time, they mistreat him terribly.
Their layers of denial cannot always cover over the truth, however. The true fruit of the Bomb and all its accompanying horrors is evident in their midst: fear. There is a bumper crop of fear.
People fear for good reason. Their weapons will not save them when things go wrong.
At that time, says the Lord of Hosts, I will make a covenant with my people and with all the birds of the air, and the things that creep on the earth, and I will BREAK BOW AND SWORD AND WEAPON OF WAR AND SWEEP THEM OFF THE EARTH so that all living creatures may lie down without fear.’ -Hosea 2:18
So what is the solution? Rodney King, in the L.A. riots, put it in the form
of a question that has since become famous:
That is both the question and the answer. As Bishop Riah said, we have lived side by side for centuries. There is no solution except to go on living side by side.
So now I ask you, what is the best way to get along with your neighbor? Knock on his door, and shake his hand, and say ‘hello’? Or knock open his door with a gun and say, ‘get out’?
In order for all the people of Israel/Palestine to live together, they must lay down their weapons. All of them.
And at the top of the list would be the nukes. There, as here and everywhere, the nukes have got to go.