Thoughts After Reading THE TERROR YEARS by Lawrence Wright

The Terror Years; From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State by Lawrence Wright is a thought-provoking book. Its somber analyses ring true. Especially disturbing is his chapter on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Each side believes retaliation is justified. Carrying out what one believes is justified, however, sparks an endless cycle of killing and violence. Each year the conflict sucks more and more nations into its rapidly spinning whirlpool.

Only if you are elderly, do you have any memory of a time when Israelis and Palestinians were not in conflict. Each group—Israeli and Palestinian—has reasons for hating the other. Each side has reasons for wanting to murder and maim the other. Each could cite the saying: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Consider, however, dialog from one version of the play Fiddler on the Roof:
FIRST MAN: We should defend ourselves. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
TEVYE: Very good. And that way, the whole world will be blind and toothless.

Much of terrorism today is the result of resentments long buried but never extinguished, only waiting to be uncovered. Perhaps the only solution is the teaching taught by one who lived in the Middle East over two-thousand years ago. Somebody must sacrifice righteous vengeance and begin a virtuous circle of forgiveness.

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