I usually don’t mention current affairs here, but want to write something about the current atrocities in Lebanon. It is astonishing to me how the international community can watch, mainly in silence, as Israel is attacking, bombing and killing large numbers of civilians in a neighboring country – possibly even using chemical weapons in the process (hardly mentioned at all in the international media).
It is just another example of what we all do – justify or accept behavior by “friends” or “us” that we would never accept by “enemies” or “others”. In this case, the western world sees Israel as “us”, and watches in silence. While Muslims and Muslim countries are still “other”, so their lives are implicitly seen as less valuable and important, and their actions treated with far more skepticism and criticism, and far less patience and tolerance.
For me, one of the lights in this is seeing the reactions in Norway (my home country) which is far more critical to Israel’s actions than what I see in most of the western world. There seems to be a tradition in Norway to take a more deeply human view and also to side with the underdogs, relatively independent of who they are, and in this case the underdogs are Lebanese civilians.
So as I see this behavior of the Israelis – an almost insane cruelty and violence, and the behavior of the international community – complacency and silence, then the question is – how does this show up in my own life? How is this alive in me right now, as I see this, and how is it alive in my life in other situations?
As I watch and see my own reaction to the behavior of the Israelis, I see the same violence and cruelty in me as I see in them. For me, it is directed towards the actions of the Israelis, and for them, it is directed towards Lebanese civilians. I relate to the Israelis as I see them relate to the Lebanese.
As I watch and see my own reaction to the behavior of the international community, I again see in me what I see in them. I find the same complacency in myself as in them. After all, what am I doing about it? Hardly anything. I am passively watching as I see them passively watch. On another level, I see myself sometimes passively watch my own reactions, without investigating them. There is war right here, created by my beliefs and their clash with reality, and I am passively watching without examining what is really going on.
And I can just note this. Just see it. Take it in. It is information. There is no need to add an additional layer of drama to it, by adding stories about what I see in myself. And if I do, then that is just something else to see, to take note of.