Conflict. Relative peace. Conflict. Relative peace.
Such a succession of descriptions could be used to describe Israel and the Gaza Strip OR a person recovering from addiction.
The Palestinian and Jewish conflict has been going on for decades. And the intervention of other countries has not fixed the problem. Likewise, a person with an addiction may try multiple treatment programs and be “sober” for a time, but then relapse occurs and the addiction resumes full force. In fact, one might say the addiction was always there, just lying dormant like a sleeper cell, waiting for the moment to attack again. Then there is a weak moment or a strong trigger, and the person once again partakes of the addictive substance or behavior and war has begun again.
And even though licensed and trained counselors or therapists have tried to help, and the person with an addiction has subjected his or herself to “sanctions” or “blockades” (think in-patient detox or residential treatment centers), once the blockade is lifted, the addiction comes back.
What to do?
With reference to the current Gaza conflict, Jean-Pierre Filiu in a New York Times op-ed, stated: “If nothing is done to address the root causes, any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas will only be a pause before the next outbreak of violence.”
Of course, Jean-Pierre is probably right. But I wonder if even he understands what “the root causes” are? Are they political? Is the fact that Palestine is not its own sovereign state the root cause? Does it have to do with blockades? Is it militarization?
Root causes go back to the character, perspective, beliefs, and attributes of people. They have to do with values, virtue and vice. It’s the war between good and evil as played out in the souls of each person. It’s the choices people make. Even seemingly small choices.
Wars between nations – including the current Gaza conflict – are outward extensions of the wars being fought and won (or lost) within individual people. Until people learn and choose to govern themselves according to correct principles, there will be wars and rumors of wars.
There cannot be true peace in Gaza and Israel until there is a change of heart in the people.
There cannot be a freedom from addiction unless there is a change in the heart of the addict.
What do you think addicts, Palestinians, and Israelis can learn from each other?
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