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!
Olympic National Park
Wednesday 26 October 2010