Yalla Peace: Seven deadly sins that prevent peace

What is it that motivates us to unite in prayer for rain but not to unite in prayer for real peace?

By RAY HANANIA
November 16, 2010 23:18
3 minute read.
Yalla Peace: Seven deadly sins that prevent peace

dead sea rainbow 248.88. (photo credit: Doron Nissim)

 
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A major obstacle preventing Palestinian and Israeli peace is that our leaders do not genuinely speak of peace and have a mind-set that is based in anger.

They are so wrapped up in their negativity that they are incapable of coming together for peace and compromise, although they cover up their negativity by telling themselves that they do support peace, when they really do not.

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I have always believed Israelis and Palestinians need a psychiatrist more than they need a nonpartisan negotiator like the US to bring them together. The truth of our conflict comes out in our actions more than in our words. We should all be laying back on couches as the psychiatrist brings out our deepest fears.

I follow Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Twitter. Most of the time his posts remind me of how hopeless Palestinian and Israeli leaders really are. He speaks about peace, but too often his words reflect the opposite.

Recently, on his Twitter page, he wrote: “Praying for rain unites Jews, Muslims and Christians.” He didn’t mean it as some major revelation about the historical relations between Palestinians and Israelis. It wasn’t a policy statement, nor a determination for peace. It was a subliminal gesture on his part that revealed what our problem really is.

DEEP DOWN we – Palestinians and Israelis – want everyone to come together. It makes us feel good. But we don’t want to pay the price for peace, which is compromise, and that leaves us with conflict. Rain is not conflict. But rain is one of those troublesome necessities of life. We need rain but we also fear rain, which can easily become thunderstorms, hurricanes and floods.

Rain can symbolize both a natural growth and a fierce natural destruction.



How come I never read Ayalon write on his Twitter page, “Respect and generosity unite Jews, Muslims and Christians.” Or “real peace where Israelis and Palestinians compromise and recognize each other unites Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

Ayalon’s Twitter post is so revealing because it represents exactly what is wrong with the relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

We look at the natural order of the world and spend all our time trying to change things that cannot be changed. We spend all our efforts rejecting the very answers and solutions that can bring change.

We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can do much to stop the violence. We can stop the killings. We can stop the hatred. We can stop the building of settlements. We can stop the firing of rockets. We can stop the assaults on civilians. We can stop the attacks on soldiers.

We can’t start or stop the rain.

So why do we pine for that which we can’t have, when what we can have sits right there under our noses? What is it that motivates us to unite in prayer for rain but not to unite in prayer for real peace? There are seven answers to that question, the psychiatrist might explain. Pining for rain is so much easier than pining for peace, at least according to the seven deadly sins that plague humanity – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

Wrath: The eternal flame that brings Palestinians and Israelis so closely together. We often try to inflict more pain than what has been brought on ourselves.

Greed: The refusal by Israelis to surrender settlements and Palestinians to surrender a demand for the right of return.

Sloth: Peace requires real work and we have tired from failing over the years.

Pride: Wanting to look good to our people rather than doing the right thing and making them angry.

Lust: Israeli rejectionists see the West Bank as the wife of another man, and Palestinian rejectionists covet failed peace as their desired goal.

Envy: We hate what the other has.

Gluttony: We feed ourselves rhetoric that makes us fat with a false sense of having achieved something. We consume ourselves with a false belief that we are better than the other, and close our eyes to our own roles in the tragedy we all help to create.

I am sure that when Danny Ayalon wrote his Twitter post, he wasn’t thinking of all this. But I wish he did. The only thing we should allow to unite Jews, Muslims and Christians is praying for peace.

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