29 October 2010

Back from Camping

I returned from camping on the Olympic Peninsula late last night. It was an awesome trip. It rained a lot, but we managed to stay almost completely dry! I have a bunch of photos that will take some time to sort through, but hopefully I will post a collection of the best ones.

While I was gone I was thinking a lot about the conflict in the Middle East. The one between Israelis and Palestinians. On last Monday night I went to see the Rachel Corrie Foundation Peace Works event at Evergreen. It was the play "There is a Field" by Jen Marlowe. I am glad I went, and I enjoyed the performance and the Q&A afterward. The play is about a Palestinian-Israeli family and the death of 17 year-old Aseel, a Seeds of Peace volunteer, who was killed by Israeli Defense Forces Soldiers during a demonstration. The play brought up a lot of difficult issues, and was an interesting glimpse into the lives of Palestinians who live in Israel proper. It seems that for these Palestinians, discrimination is the norm.

I am also looking forward to seeing Marc Ellis, who is a Jewish theologian and philosopher and author. Marc is in Olympia, and is making a series of presentations about his views and his work. There's more information about that on OlympiaBDS.

One aspect of the conflict in the Middle East that I have been thinking of, from a psychological standpoint, and in terms of diagnosing the conflict (which I believe is a disease) is the idea that given the intensity of trauma that Jews have experienced over the years—that many Jews have what might be thought of as a "survivor's complex." That is the mentality of surviving despite intense oppression and persecution-even to the point of real genuine concerted attempts at annihilation.

[added paragraph that I meant to include earlier in posting originally: One of the possible symptoms of "survivor's complex," as it may evince itself either in individuals, or in socio-cultures, is as an attitude of superiority. Another way to understand this is how when people are bullied (or mis-treated in other ways) they sometimes take on the behavior of the bully (or abuser) in order to achieve safety or security...]

This is a very serious and problematic issue. Some people might like to think that since I support human rights for Palestinians, that I don't support the rights of Israelis. This could not be further from the truth.

Human rights are for everyone-for all human beings-everywhere. The true and genuine security of one, depends on the security of all. Real security is mutual.

Anyway, I think there are some seriously deep and difficult psychological aspects of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and the best way to look at the situation is from the point of view that all people deserve to be treated well.

Below is a photo of a Buck on Rialto beach on the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto beach is just North of the Quileute American Indian Reservation.

Best Wishes, and (for) Peace!


Rialto Beach
Olympic National Park
Wednesday 26 October 2010


  1. What is your understanding of how Palestinians are treated by the Jordanian government? Indeed, it seems that for these Palestinians, discrimination is the norm.

  2. No Dogs or Jews allowed


    I know, I know. You have a romanticized view of Muslims, so you'd never under any circumstance hold them to the same standard as Israel. You don't get "tolerance" points for pointing out discrimination of Palestinians in Lebanon and Jordan.

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Arab_world

    Imagine, Berd. You're sitting around with your activists friends and you actually start spewing out ALL of the facts about discrimination in the Middle East. No doubt, you'd lose your "cred", right? Shock them with the truth, Berd, instead of walking the party line constantly. Use your brain for once.

  4. Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the PLO, published a Ph.D. thesis (at Moscow University) in 1982, called The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement.[43][44] His doctoral thesis later became a book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, which, following his appointment as Palestinian Prime Minister in 2003, was heavily criticized as an example of Holocaust denial. In his book, Abbas wrote:

    "It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand." [45][46][47]

  5. Hi.

    Can you please respond more narrowly to the subject matter of the post?

  6. Sure. You mentioned Palestinian oppression, so you'll probably enjoy this article.


  7. I'm so embarrassed by your ignorance, I've taken it upon myself to share facts with you. Then again, maybe you are a right-wing religious nut that supports theocracies, oppresses women/homosexuals, and is racist against Jews. If so, by all means, blindly support Palestinians. You, Berd, are a homophobe.


  8. Israel also has one of the highest percentages of support for same-sex marriage IN THE WORLD, with 61% of Israelis supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.[2]

    That's an awfully strange FACT to fit into your view of the world, isn't it. And a female prime minister? And the only place in the ME where Jews AND Muslims can be citizens? The more you know, the more you realize that Israel is the Middle East's Left, surrounded by poorly educated, right-wing religious nuts in masks screaming racial slurs. Why can't Muslims share the land?


  9. More for you, Berd. Get your protest signs ready! I know that as a peace activist, you are willing to protest ANY and ALL injustices, right? I mean, you're not the kind of guy to just protest what seems cool, right?