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Selling a Vision of Hope: A Refreshing Alternative to Armageddon

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Vision of Hope
file under: self-interestSaudi Arabiapeace in the Middle EastIranHamas 12 Oct 2011 5:08 PM
Two Hints That Peace May Be Possible Posted by Nissim Dahan

In this increasingly hostile world of ours, it is only natural to search for even the slightest hint that peace may be possible. As I watched the news last night, two such hints came into sharp focus right before my eyes. The first is Iran's recent attempt to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. And the second is the imminent, God willing, release by Hamas of Gilad Shalit, a captive Israeli soldier, in exchange for the release of approximately 1000 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.


You may well ask: Why do these seemingly two unrelated news items point to the possibility of peace?


Iran's assassination attempt underscores the threat that the current regime poses to the Sunni Arab world, and for that matter, to the world at large. It is seemingly inconceivable, in light of the threats that confront Iran's leadership, that they would even attempt such a bold and brazen attack, against a Saudi diplomat, on U.S. soil no less. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? And yet, as the last few years clearly demonstrate, Iran's leaders have not hesitated to finance and carry out terrorist attacks of all shapes and sizes, including the bombing of a Jewish synagogue in Argentina, with over 100 killed, as well as the murder of over 100 dissidents throughout Europe.


And as we all know, Iran makes no secret of her desire to develop nuclear weapons, and to use that umbrella, and her proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, to wield an even greater influence throughout the entire region. There is no doubt that at least some of Iran's leaders wish to remake the Middle East in their image. Even if it turns out that this plot was perpetrated by a rogue faction, still: Would you want a rogue faction to have its finger on a nuclear trigger? Is that a risk we can afford to take?


It would be natural, therefore, for Saudi officials to be quite worried about Iranian intentions, especially considering the historical enmity between Shiites and Sunnis, the acts of terrorism sponsored by Iran, the attempt to become a nuclear power, and the recent attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador. Taken as a whole, the assassination attempt is just further confirmation of Iran's intent to take charge, and of her willingness to use extra-ordinary means to do so.


So why does this point to the possibility of peace? Because as Saudi looks around, and searches for a way to keep Iranian designs in check, she may have no choice but to look to Israel and the U.S., because only they have the wherewithal to accomplish such a mission, and the self-interest to do so. And therefore, a strategic alliance between Saudi, the Sunni Arabs, Israel and the U.S. may soon be in the offing. And what will be the price for such an arrangement? That is easy enough to fathom; assistance in closing the deal on peace between Israel and Palestine, and leveraging that into an overall understanding between Israel and the Arab world.


The second hint that peace may be in the offing is Hamas' apparent willingness to release Gilad Shalit in exchange for Israel's release of over 1000 Palestinian prisoners, 300 of whom are serving life sentences. Why does this prisoner swap bode well for peace, you may well ask. And the answer is quite simple. Because it shows, in a rather perverse way, that Israel and Hamas can cut a deal, even though both are sworn to each other's destruction, and have vowed never to negotiate with one another. Still, somehow, a deal was cut, and if that deal could be cut, it follows that other deals could be cut as well.


Ask yourself a simple question: Why did Hamas cut this deal? Because it wants to look good in the eyes of the people, and bringing home 1000 Palestinian prisoners looks good. Well, what if the people begin demanding jobs and a greater measure of freedom, which they are? What then? Is it just possible that if Hamas needs to deliver on jobs and freedom, that it too will look to Israel and the U.S. to help in this regard, because in reality, they are best able to do so? And if that is the case, what will be the price that Hamas has to pay? Well, that too is easy to fathom...peace! Nothing more, and nothing less. 


     So in the end, when push comes to shove, peace may be possible, not because people love one another, God forbid, or because they want a better world for their children, or because they believe in the sanctity of life. No, none of that crap. Peace may come one day because as we face some very common existential threats, we may finally come to realize that we actually need one another, for a change, to stave off these threats, and to save our very own necks.



Comments (26)Add Comment
written by GABE1, October 18, 2011
There can be no peace with savages. Egypt arresting a US citizen on spying charges and demanding 80 terrorists in return. Egypt forcing Shalit to give an interview on Egyptian TV with leading anti Israeli questions. Terror rats and their supporters in Gaza calling for more Shalits.

Yes I am encouraged that peace is at hand!!!!!(LOL a gazzillion times.

You make it sound so neat. "We face existential threats" Such a cop out. Israel and Jews face an existential threat. The Arabs are just continuing their killing business as usual and more often than not, amongst themselves. Enough is enough, I and most of the world is starting to wake up to reality and Israeli Oil and Gas will speed up that process.

You know how to stave off that threat. Don't sell us any snake oil.PLEASE!!!!

Reality Bites
written by Nissim Dahan, October 19, 2011
There was a movie out a few years ago, Reality Bites, which told the story of several college graduates trying to cope with the rigors of real life. They had to come to terms with the fact that reality often sucks.

OK Gabe, you claim I'm selling snake oil. I prefer to think of it as a healthy dose of reality.

Picture this. You're a Saudi prince. You don't much trust Shiites, and there is a large Shiite minority in your country, that could easily be swayed by an ever menacing Iran.

Iran makes no attempt to hide its disdain for you, and is using her proxies to rock the boat wherever she can.

Iran could use a nuclear umbrella to remake the Middle East as she sees fit.

Last week, either Iran, or some looney faction, even trie to assassinate you ambassador to the U.S., on U.S. soil no less.

You don't particularly like Israel, but she seems to be the strongest power in the region, and she shares some of your concerns about Iran.

The U.S. has been your protector over the years, and has helped to put you in power, and keep you there, but the U.S. economy is in the dumps, and need a kick start.

O.K. Gabe, as a Saudi prince, what do you do?

I'm talking about reality here, not make believe. This is the hard reality that you have to come to grips with.

What do you have to do to save your neck? You tell me.

written by Nissim Dahan, October 19, 2011
Comment by AshDiane Hunt on Sunday Delete Comment
I understand what you are saying, yet this is so-called representatives of the people talking and not the people themselves. Sadly, governments do not have the interests of the people at heart. Which is why MEpeace in the first place, and other such groups etc. Which is why the global Occupy movement. We have to make peace. We have to be responsible and care for each other. Governments and those acting in the interest of making profit are not going to do it, although definitely there are also people within governments, corporations etc who do want the best for people, who are trying to achieve better things for people, yet their hands end up being tied. So it comes down to each of us, the individuals, to say enough is enough and no more in our name. It is about us being responsible, learning to care for ourselves and others...
written by Nissim Dahan, October 19, 2011
Comment by Nissim Dahan yesterday Delete Comment
Thank you for your comment Ash Diane.

I also don't expect peace to come from the negotiatiion table. The divide is too deep to be bridged by words alone.

I would agree with you that there is an important role for people like us to play. A groundswell of support will garner a lot of attention, even the attention of those in power who are in a position to do something about it.

What I see happening is a strange alignment of the stars, such that the self-interest of some of the key players in the Middle East is aligning with the best interest of the region.

As an example, if the man on the street is clamoring for jobs and freedom, and if his voice resonates loudly enough, and if he begin to pose an existential threat to the regimes of the region, then gradually they may come around, not because they necessarily want to, they don't, but because they have no other choice.

So in the end, they may end up doing the right thing out of necessity. Let it begin that way, and gradually, over time, it may grow to something more, something that you seem to yearn for, something that resembles love for one another.

But for this to happen, people like you and me, have to do our part, to exert enough pressure, and to inspire enough people with a new vision for the future, so as to shake things up enough, that even those who would rather not hear, have no choice but to do so.

I hope we can keep this dialogue going. Please feel free to comment as often as you wish. It helps to get the word out.
written by GABE1, October 19, 2011
That Saudi prince does not give a figs leaf about Sunni or Shia but rather about his monarchy. If the Shia rear their heads, that prince and his co religionists in the Arab world will just kill these Shia without a peep from you or Ashe Diane Hunt or the "world". Hack Assad is doing it as we speak.

Throw these Rose coloured glasses away and start dealing with the real world and not some pipe dreams. The Saudis, the Bahrainis and all the other Arab monarchies and tyrannies care about power as do the ordinary Joe Blow on the street. The demos in Gaza have shown that as has the Libyan situation and the Syrian situation and the Yemsn situation.

You are lagging behind the times and you still think that the "arab Spring" was a big deal rather than a blimp on the horizon and the changing of Colonels. There are no democracies in the Middle East and if one is established ,I give it no more than a month to survive.

ASHDIANE HUNT must simply be delusional and is completely incoherent from what I can ascertain.That is the type of sound bites that the proletariat has been peddling since the Russian revolution.

Did you actually read what she says and if you did please explain it to me. Ask her what peace means to her, and people from government disconnect and the OCCUPY movement.

Does a dog bite? How deep is that bite and when does a dog bite? If we had blue dogs than we would not have to ask these questions.This is the type of nonsense one hears from OINKmanists (Humanoids)
written by Nissim Dahan, October 20, 2011
Comment by AshDiane Hunt 12 hours ago Delete Comment
At least I am actively doing something positive, which is more than using a peace site to have a go at each other does. There are people from all beliefs, races, walks of life here at Occupy Melbourne. Our opinions are very diverse, yet we are pulling together and creating real democracy with our daily General Assemblies. We are also feeding over 200 people per day, including the homeless and the poor - all from donations. We are also providing shelter for the homeless on our site. We aren't waiting for governments or corporations, but doing it ourselves. For the people and not just for profit. MEpeace is built on similar principles of not waiting for governments to create peace but doing it ourselves.This is why members are called PEACEMAKERS. If you want to fight amongst yourselves, perhaps go somewhere else and do it and let the actual peacemakers get on with creating peace instead of spending their energy in endless dialogue with those who do not even want peace. Come back when you actually want to work for peace instead of endlessly arguing.
written by Nissim Dahan, October 20, 2011
Comment by AshDiane Hunt 12 hours ago Delete Comment
Here is the link for Occupy Melbourne, in case anyone wishes to see what is happening...and this is global in over 960 cities. Tomorrow we are having a Permaculture in Action & Food Empowerment Festival where we will be having workshops to show people how to grow their own food and compost etc. We will also be giving away free seedlings.

written by Nissim Dahan, October 20, 2011
Comment by Nissim Dahan just now Delete Comment
Ash Diane, I appreciate your comments and your efforts for peace.

The energy and persistence that I see in this Occupy movement is a good thing, and I hope it will continue.

It is not unlike the Arab Spring movement, which I believe seeks at its core decent jobs and the freedom to live life as we see fit.

What I think is needed, if I may, is a vision for what we want to achieve, and a mechanism for getting there, in this real world of ours.

My approach, for example, is three fold: to define the opportunity that exists for some of the key players to come together, to come up with a Vision of Hope that allows us to take advantage of that opportunity, and to come up with a mechanism that gives substance to that vision.

For example, I would like to bring together a group to top business leaders who will work behind the scenes to promote peace, and who will revitalize the Middle East with good paying jobs, by building 100 Green Industrial Zones throught the region, in places like Gaza and the like.

These Green Industrial Zones will require the investment of Arab capital, along with Arab, Israeli and U.S. knowhow. The jobs will address some of the environmental issues endemic to the region, and the world at large, including clean water, healthcare, agriculture and green energy.

It's just an idea, but it's an idea which takes your passion and allows it to become an agent for change. What begins as a single solitary project, under the right circumstances, and with the right vision, could become a movement for change. The right model, put in place at this time, when the whole world is looking for answers, will caputre the public's attention, and addditional investment dollars, so that the model could be replicated throughout.

It's one approach, but I think something along these lines can work.

In terms of Gabe and I, we do argue, it's true, but I believe that there is something good in that, and something that also relates to peace. No one really has the answers, so we can only hope that through vigorous debates, more answers will make themselves known to us.

Your comments are deeply appreciated.
History Is Not Always Prologue
written by Nissim Dahan, October 20, 2011
Gabe, look at what you're saying: "The Saudi prince does not give a fig leaf about Sunni and Shia but rather about his monarchy."

Perhaps you're right. But what if, to preserve his monarch, he has to deal with things like the Sunni/Shia divide? What then?

You say he'll just go and kill everyone he needs to. Fine. But what if his enemy possesses a nuclear aresenal? What then? And what if the whole world is watching everything you do? How many people can you kill and get away with it?

You see, Gabe, this may not be as simple as they were in the past. The Saudi prince may want to do this and that, as he did in the past, but there may be new constraints on the table which limit his choices.

So what choice does he have?

He has Israel, and he has the U.S. Like it or not, these two have the wherewithal to deal with Iran, and have the self-interest to do so.

That is not wishful thinking, Gabe. That is cold hard reality. And reality bites.

You wish to dismiss the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement very cavalierly. I don't write them off so easily. Wall street was complicit in the economic downturn. People in high places were way too greedy, and did things they shouldn't have done, and the whole world is paying the price. It should never have happened.

The politicians had no business pushing banks to give mortgages to unqualified buyers. The finanacial houses had no business packaging those lousy mortgages into financial instruments that no one could understand, and selling those instruments, and then betting that they would fail.

That is corruption, not unlike the corruption that occurs in parts of the Middle East, and African, and wherever corruption occurs. And that type of corruption has no place in a civilized world. And the people who are out there on the streets do have a legitimate beef, and we should help them to give subtance to their anger with a vision, and a mechanism, that begins to bring some semblance of justice to this crazy-assed world of ours.

You see
written by GABE1, October 22, 2011
DianeAsh Hunt could not make a go of her life so she entrenched into a "person of the planet" or some facsimile that to a reasonable person is simply nothing to do with peace or helping mankind. The occupy movement, if you want to call it that. is a a amalgamation of disgruntled far left students and/or anarchists and not a mainstream effort to help anyone. Most of these people are the outcasts of society and you adopting it says a lot about your thought process.

I mentioned Syria and you just glossed over this. Saudi Arabia is forging alliances with China and if they have to level Iran China will protect them in the UN, unlike the USA. Russia will side with the Saudis because of Chechnya.

The USA may mistakes but the system and type of governance are sound and will never succumb to the socialism that Obama has been leading the USA towards. I am quite amazed at what you have to say both about the "Arab Spring" the "Occupy Movement" and most importantly about the USA.

You Can Have A Point Without Having A Plan
written by Nissim Dahan, October 31, 2011
I am not dismissive of the Occupy Movement or the Arab Spring, because I believe that the people who comprise these movements, even though they are an amalgem as you suggest, and even though they don't really having a plan for moving forward, still, they do have a point.

The rage on the Arab street does have a sense of legitimacy, when you see what the Arab world has become. These young people see a bleak future for themselves as a result of a system that has been put in place, which offers no hope of a decent job, or a sense of freedom.

You mention Syria, as far as I'm concerned, Assad is on his way out, it's just a matter of time. The people on the street are a force to be reckoned with, and it is a reality that will not go away, without some vision that could inspire people with hope for the future.

China may protect Saudi Arabia, but Saudi is in no position to take on Iran by herself.

Russia may side with Saudi, but may sit back and watch what happens, especially when so much risk is on the line.

The Arab leaders, in countries where revolution has still not happened, are taking note of their choices, and are seeing what is happening to the dictators of the past, and these people may ultimately decide that partnering with Israel and the U.S. is the only way to go to stave off strategic threats, such as Iran, and to revitalize the Middle East with jobs.

In terms of the USA, let me be clear: As far as I'm concerned, the U.S. is the greatest country on earth, and most probably, the greatest country that ever was. In fact, I would argue that the U.S. is the next best hope for mankind, and if the U.S. goes down, everything else goes down with it.

Part of the U.S.'s greatest achievment was a strong and burgeoning Middle class. We are in danger of losing that, as is Israel, much to the detriment of our collective futures. Wealth is being increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Production is being shipped out. Debt is out of control. And the entitlements are in danger of going broke.

Yes the U.S. is a great country, but we have gone astray, and we have no choice but to bring it back, if we are to have a promising future.

So I look at the Occupy Movement as a wake up call of sorts, even though they are not organized, and even though they don't really have a plan for getting anything done, but because they do strike a raw nerve, and remind us that the little guy counts as well, and that his interests must be looked after as well.

People have been greedy in this great country of ours. And public policy has strayed off course. It will take a vision, not unlike a Vision of Hope, to inspire people, and to deliver on that promise with jobs, with production, with entitlement reform, with a curbing of idebtedness, and with everything else that is needed to get back on track.
written by Nissim Dahan, October 31, 2011
Comment by AshDiane Hunt on October 20, 2011 at 7:21pm Delete Comment
Now you are talking, Nissim. All positive action, although I would prefer it to be more about people than profit. If it for the best interest of people and their need for shelter and sustenance, as well as their happiness, and it is sustainable as well as shared abundance, and forms symbiotic relationships with both other people and the environment, then I am all for it..
written by Nissim Dahan, October 31, 2011
Comment by Nissim Dahan just now Delete Comment
Ash Diane, I appreciate your "qualified" endorsement.

Actually, I believe that profits and people are very compatible. Ultimately, you want a model that will last. You can only depend on the goodness of people's hearts just so long. People may be charitable, for a while, but sooner or later self-interest kicks in.

The model I suggest is a Green Industrial Zone, which revitalizes the Middle East with good paying jobs: jobs which grow our economies, jobs which protect the environment, and jobs which help to weaken the hold of extremist thinking.

Believe it or not, a model of this sort can be used in the West as well, because we also need to find an engine for economic growth and job creation.

As an example, a friend of mine, a professor in the Technion in Israel, just invested a way of growing plants using 30% o the water that is usually needed. I would like to see Jews, Christians, and Muslims using this technology to grow fruits and vegetables in draught stricken areas, like the Middle East, or Sudan, or wherever it could help.

This type of state-of-the-art technology would create jobs, even as it solves some of the environmental threats endemic to the region, such as clean water, food production, health care, and green energy.

We will give everyone on earth a place at the table, a stake in his or her future, in a way that is sustainable, and that inspire a sense of hope in things to come..
written by Nissim Dahan, November 01, 2011
Comment by AshDiane Hunt 13 hours ago Delete Comment
I gather that you are posting for someone else (Gabe1), Nissim? Either that or you have a split personality! ;-)

I am a permaculturist myself so, yes, I agree with ALL pitching in for the cause of food. Without more information it is hard for me to comment on the method you mentioned, which uses 30% less water. It sounds good though and if you care to give me a link to more info I would like to take a look. I am at the moment undertaking a project, which is part of Occupy Melbourne, to get as many Melburnians growing their own food as possible as I really do believe in food empowerment. We are planning an Occupy Melbourne Permaculture in Action & Food Empowerment Festival, with workshops and discussions to be held. Free seedlings will also be given out to the public.

This festival was supposed to have taken place on the 22nd October yet the day before the police evicted us from our camp at City Square. The Queen was due to visit (and Occupy Melbourne actually chose not to turn up to her touring of Melbourne). The non-violent occupiers were violently removed from City Square and pepper spray, tasers, horses, dogs, punches and kicks were used. We had kept the area occupied clean and it was a drug and alcohol free zone, yet during the eviction all compost, rubbish, and cigarette bins were overturned by police and beer bottles were brought in and broken on site. There were witnesses to this. Occupy Melbourne is still going strong though, and the rough treatment only expanded the number of supporters. I would like to add to this that I am not an 'us and them' type person. I believe people only know what they know, until they learn otherwise. I am also people. There were some police who attempted to stop the violence of their colleagues and have done their best to keep lines of communication etc open. One even told someone I know that his wife had been intending to come down and join us prior to the violent eviction.

As for whether my reasons for being part of this are because I have a failed life, I will only answer that, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this is an opinion and I am not angered or upset by it. It is simply not my own opinion of myself. Nor am I a student or socialist. I am simply someone who cares about people and I see unity as my life's work, and I am doing the best I can with what I know. Note also that I do not say peace but unity. There is a difference. I am also a mother and grandmother and I have worked in offices (admin/secretarial/p.a.) most of my life. In the Occupy movement there are people of all ages, from all walks of life. There was even a man who worked for a prominent stockbroker camping with us. He got up each work day and donned his work clothes, dusting off the dust from City Square then heading to work.

Yes, the Arab Spring, Spanish Summer, Occupy movement, etc etc are all starts produced by an awakening which is happening in people. We have an abundant planet and there is absolutely NO need for anyone to be going without food or shelter. This should have been dealt with a long time ago. Responsibility and caring, for ourselves and others, and putting people BEFORE profit (not NO profit at all, but simply the needs of people first) is paramount. The more who begin to do so, the merrier, and the better for all.

All the best to you ALL,

Diane, Citizen of OUR planet Earth :-)

written by Nissim Dahan, November 01, 2011
Comment by Nissim Dahan just now Delete Comment
Diane, I think you write very well, and your thoughts are right on.

I would be happy to send you information on the plants that need 30% of th water that other plants need. You can contact me through my website and I will forward you the study, which by the way, has just been sold to a large company that plans to distribute the technology commercially around the world.

I don't doubt that the authorities have been rough with your movement. It's not only because you "disturb the peace" but more so because you threaten some very basic notions around which society has organized itself.

For exampe, how dare you say that no one one earth deserves to go hungry, or without a roof over his head? Well, to be quite honest, you're probably right. But imagine the change of thinking that it will take to bring that about. No hunger. No homelessness. Basic healthcare for everyone on earth.

It takes me back to the lyrics of that iconic song, "Imagine."

I don't consider your a failed life, and I doubt that Gabe would, if he had all the facts.

You see "unity" as your life's mission. Bringing everything together, in a way that makes sense. Thinking straight, using our common sense, inspiring one another with a vision of hope for the future, and delivering on that promise with fundamental change.

You call your experience an "awakening," and I would like to believe that many around the world, like you, are waking up to the fact, or awakening to the realization that we may be do for a re-set of some sort, for a new way of organizing ourselves, in a way that is sustainable, and that sustains life in the most equitable way possible.

That doesn't mean you give up on profits or capitalism. But maybe you opt for what a known businessman recently called "compassionate capitalism."

Such a notion would call for new meaning for words like "expense" and "profit." An expense is not only the money you pay out for running your business, but the costs the society incurs when you ship out your jobs abroad. And profit is not only the money you make, but the good you bring to society at large.

If we expand our notions of business fundmentals, we may be able to find a system that is more just and more sustainable.

So I would definitely encourage you to pursue your dreams, and to keep the dialogue going so that we may both discover ways to make something happen along these lines. And who knows, maybe Gabe will join in one day if we can make a strong enough case.
written by GABE1, November 01, 2011
DianeAsh is simply an outcast as I have said before. People like are know to either not have had a husband and family or divorced many times or have had many unsuccessful romantic attachments. They have a problem bonding ergo the need to be a "Citizen of Planet Earth" a very curious name given to oneself. Since I can not bond with one let me be the darling of all. Crap.
The "occupy" movement has nothing to do with anything just ,as I said , a bunch of disgruntled underachieving students and anarchists complaining, not giving solutions, to problems that they are clueless to understand. What have they or the Arab spring accomplished to date. They have pissed off both the Joe on the street an ass of themselves.

In democratic societies we have elections and they can run for office or vote en block for change. There are problems in every society and we cannot please everyone but to say that people in the West go hungry is simply stupid. We have welfare, child protection laws, laws against assault as well as Unemployment Insurance.

What exactly is "occupy" demonstrating against or about?

Hope and unity is within the individual and cannot be taught or enforced by others. Living in a free society without fear, you should understand that. I am sad that you do not.

Please ask Diane Ash to give you an overview of he life experiences and I GUARANTEE that you will be shocked and not in a pleasant way. During my Psych studies, I wrote two papers, both published in the Local newspaper-on the subject of poverty and Welfare and on the subject of extreme Leftist phenomenon. I met many disfunctional humans with ideas of grandeaur and a lack of any reality.
Nonsense Part Deux
written by GABE1, November 01, 2011
If you would do a survey, it would be interesting to know how many of these "activists" have a job or when was the last time that they had one. As a start ask Diane Ash that same question?
You Paint With Too Broad A Brush, My Friend
written by Nissim Dahan, November 02, 2011
I think your conclusions go way beyond the fact.

First of all, Diane is telling you that she is a mother and grandmother and that she has worked most of her life. That doesn't fit with the picture you paint.

Remember the Hippi days? Those guys were a wild bunch. They did all sorts of drugs, and enjoyed themselves in all sorts of ways, if you get my drift.

And then what happened. A lot of them went on to run Wall Street.

You expect too much from the Arab Spring and from the Occupy folks. They are mad as hell. And they can't take it any more. But that doesn't mean that they know exactly what they're angry about, or that they have concrete solutions to solve problems that are complex, as you've said, and that were years in the making.

You say the West has no hunger. I beg to disagree. We have our share of suffering. People are falling through the "safety net." However, even leaving the West aside, what about the hunger we see in Africa and the like? What about that. We in the West, who enjoy life's blessings, including the wealth that we've worked for; Do we have the moral right to allow hunger to ravage parts of this world?

Maybe I'm smoking something, but I would dare say that the West has a moral responsibility to make sure that no one on earth goes hungry.

We should do it not because we like to feel good about ourselves every once in a while. We should do it because we have the wherewithal to do it, and we have the moral obligation to do it as well.

No one on earth should go hungry. Period.

If we develop in ourselves the moral obligation to help others, and if we expand that type of thinking to other spheres, then, and only then, we will begin to tackle some of the major problems we face, like global warming, environmental degradation, and rampant extremism.

A global economy has global promlems which require global solutions. It is as if we are being forced to face the reality that we have no choice but to come together in common purpose in order to save our very own necks.
written by GABE1, November 02, 2011
Yet along the way I have of course made mistakes, choices, judgements - as oft we all do - and some of these have led to problems of some complexity (oh the tangled web we weave, tho in this case not to deceive!) in relationships, esp in family. I have come to see that peace and unity are my life work, and that this begins with loving & knowing self better, working towards peace starting in my own self (for instance: reactivity) and my family, and flowing outwards from there. I feel that what is within us and how we think and feel then flow on to our interactions with others, and even those things unsaid can still be felt/sensed. In essence, personal responsibilty.

Unlike your characterization, she fits my bill to a tee. That is BTW the first time that I saw her characterization of herself. That is the general pattern of this type of anarchist.
written by GABE1, November 02, 2011
Yes they are mad but not like in angry, crazy mad would be a better characterization. What has the Arab Spring and Occupy accomplished and what are even their goals (second time asked). I am angry, angry at the Arabs for creating fear of death in 1.5 million people, so I guess I have the right to go to a Mosque and just throw a grenade in? What right does occupy have to restrict my movements or prevent some businesses from making a living with their "occupation". You also did not address any of my points re poverty, security in both Canada and the USA or the social parachute system that the West enjoys and were these lunatics are "Occupying".

As I said before, you would get my vote if you decided to look at the Indians in our own back yard and Africa and Asia and South America instead of focusing on the Middle East generational welfare Bums

Are you aware that Israel has missions all over the world helping people with agriculture.
Taking Things Up A Notch
written by Nissim Dahan, November 03, 2011
First of all, I don't see the connection from the words she wrote, to the label "anarchist."

She doesn't mention the use of violence, or dismantling civilization as we know it. In fact, there is truth in her words that applies to each and every one of us. "Mistakes," I've made plenty, and so have you. Family problems? Show me someone who doesn't have them in one way or another. And as to her notion of "personal resonsibility" I would think that is something you could relate to, Gabe. We're sure as hell not going to bring peace to the world, if we don't find it first within ourselves. Just ask Ghandi.

You mention that Israel has missions all over the world helping people with agriculture. I know this to be true from first hand experience.

My wife and if visited our daughter in Turkmenistan when she did her Peace Corps Service. When over there, we saw some funnly looking green houses. I asked, "What are these things doing here in the middle of nowhere?" Well, guess what, they were Israeli greenhouses, used to demonstrate new ways of irrigation and the like.

And of course, whenever there's a tragedy somewhere, like the earthquake in Haiti, or even the recent earthquake in Turkey, you see Israelis helping, even when they are not so welcome, as in the case of Turkey.

In other words, Gabe, you're right to say that Israel is always willing to lend a helping hand, even under circumstances when that help expends to places where she is not particularly welcome.

You see where I'm going with this Gabe?

If we take it up a notch, how far is this notion of Tikkun Olam from the idea of building, with Arab capital, and with Hamas' protection, a Green Industrial Zone in a crazy ass place like Rafah.

Logically, isn't it the same damn thing as helping with agriculture in Africa, or helping earthquake vicitims in Turkey.

It would be Israel, saying to the world, and her neighbors, "You may like us. Or you may not. But we're here to help. Like it or not. Because we think it's the right thing to do. With the hope, that over time, you'll come to see it that way too."

That is what Selling a Vision of Hope is all about.

And yes, you're right to say that the West has a safety net, and that perhaps the Occupiers may be overstating their case here and there. But I still say, that there have been wrongs perpetrated in the halls of power, and on Wall Street, and if the people on the street help to bring these into sharp focus, then that is a positive outcome.

No, they don't really have a plan. But maybe they're the first step to making a plan possible.
written by GABE1, November 04, 2011
It is amazing how you are attempting to square a circle and keeps insisting that it is a square -ALL ALONG.
It's The Other Way Around
written by Nissim Dahan, November 04, 2011
No, I would say that I'm trying to circle a square, not square a circle.

You see, a square has straight lines that meet at fixed and rigid points. But a circle is much more fluid. It has no beginning and no end. It just keeps going round and round.

I would like to believe that there is a way of putting a model in place that avoids the rigidity of squares, and that allows for the fluid motion of a circle. It would be like a round table where everyone on earth has a place, a stake in his or her future.

Am I obstinate? Yes. Do I see things that aren't there? Probably.

I hope, beyond hope, that we will find a way to avoid the Armageddon scenario that I see looming large, just around the corner. So therefore, I prefer to think in terms of circles, in a desparate attempt to avoid that ominous corner of human destiny.
written by Nissim Dahan, November 04, 2011
AshDiane Hunt commented on your blog post "Two Hints That Peace May Be Possible" on - network for peace

Sorry, I have been offline for a bit. I was housesitting at my brother's place (yes, instead of the streets for a change, lol! *cheeky grin*) and there was a bit of confusion over two phone bills before he left - though of course this confusion wasn't realized until too late - which were of very similar amounts and this led to somewhat of a farce, as well as a fair amount of hair tearing on the part of my brother, when they disconnected his phone and internet the day he returned from holidays. On top of this, while away he had his iphone stolen, and his laptop blew up. In some places in the world they refer to this type of thing as Murphy's Law, and in others they call it Sod's Law - yet I say sod that Murphy and his Law! As for my brother, what he has been saying is not really repeatable in polite company.

Anyway... I finally got back online and in touch again, and found your messages, Nissim and Gabe. I won't respond at any length now as I am a bit tired yet my first reaction was to giggle at my being termed an anarchist. In fact I am still giggling a bit. It has rather tickled my funny bone, but then I do often see funny sides of things, and at times have a bit of a surreal sense of humour. Something else made me laugh, and that was this thought which came to my mind... of saying to you both "don't fight over me, boys" hee hee. Well, I am assuming Gabe is male. Could be Gabrielle for all I know! Which illustrates something... that I don't know much about you both at all. Yet, Gabe, you do seem to be purporting to know a great deal about me. This last sentence not meant as harshly as it may come across though. Instead please look at it as a request from me that you not confine me to a little box. They get frightfully stuffy and hot (hmm, looks like I have picked up some Brit speech habits from my time there...quite, indeed!) and I tend to bang my elbows which ain't very funny at all. Perhaps one day we three will all sit around a table together and have a drink (looks like Gabe thinks my cocktail will be a molotov - more likely lemon lime and soda! Oh go on, perhaps a dash of something stronger in there), and laugh over the rather - oops Brit speech again, aaargh! - passionate ( which is not so Brit lol!) start to our dialogue.
Okay, am off to bed now. *yawn*
From Diane who formed the Occupy Melbourne Sanctuary with our plants (which were handed to me and then I had to look after) when OM were evicted from City Square, and at that spot comforted distressed people, kindly and informatively gave out info and free hugs to passersby (as well as a few police officers and security staff),helped guide a blind man who was having difficulty navigating past the fuss and fuzz, and is now giggling about being termed an anarchist lol! ;-)
P.S. This message will self-destruct after the amount of time it takes to soft boil an egg.
P.P.S. Don't all run for your cookbooks at once, to check how long that is...though the cookbook may provide shelter....
written by Nissim Dahan, November 04, 2011
AshDiane Hunt commented on your blog post "Two Hints That Peace May Be Possible" on - network for peace


And, Gabe.... I will try to answer some of your questions about the Occupy movement, though of course these will be tinged with my particular take on things. I would like to take time to think about this first though, out of respect to what I think are good questions even if somewhat attackingly phrased.
Yes, yes, am going to bed now.... ;-)

written by GABE1, November 04, 2011
It may be that AshDiane disagree as to the term "Anarchist" so it would be instructive to hear her meaning.Contrary to how you categorized her she is not denying that it has been a while since she worked and that she may not be a mother and grandmother or even having ever been married. Again trying to call a circle a square.

I have always maintained that before getting into the nitty gritty of a discussion we must first learn about the person at the other end as that is what determines their outlook on life and politics. I think I know you pretty well from the information that I gleaned from our discussions. I am still at a loss to figure out why your politics are what they are. I guess the cost of my Psych education was not a complete waste.

I cannot as yet figure out AshDiane as the information that I have is sketchy and even somewhat contrdictory. I was a Director of Hawker Siddeley and am well familiar with the British mentality (Hawker Siddeley made Planes-Hawker Hunter-as well as other armaments) I spent a considerable time in both London and Swindon(Loved those Fish and Chips and hated the newspaper wrappings)
When she gets more energy and is able to fill us in ,than I will have a better idea. I do stand by my assessment based on current information.

The settlers in the USA used to circle their wagons and it had nothing to do with squares. Most of the time that dis not work too well just as trying to square a circle no matter how long.
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