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I consider myself Jewish. That is my chosen religion. The tradition I am willing to follow. But above all and most importantly I am a human being. A human being who opposes war and seeks for peaceful solutions. That’s what the Torah teaches me. That’s what God teaches me. That’s what being a human being teaches me. That’s what humanity requires from me. These moments, seeing the violence all over the world, and mainly focusing on the Israel-Palestine which is just stepping up to a whole new level these moments I feel ashamed of being human if that’s what humanity means. Killing people in the name of religion and territory is immature and disgusting and it is not worthy of humanity. It’s an instinct which we have and every creature in this world has but we were given a high level intelligence to rise above animals and yet we are sinking below their dignity.

Judaism does not support wars. It does allow it in certain cases but only if they made everything possible to maintain and reinstate peace. Reacting with violence to violence does not provide a solution. Having those three Israeli kids kidnapped and murdered was a huge crime. Killing that 15-year-old Palestinian kid was equally shameful. Answering with rockets and bombing?! Are those who claim themselves political and religious leaders are just leading us back to the Stone Age? There’s a system for justice and using violence against violence is not the solution.

I don’t mind wars as long as it is your choice. I wish those who are willing to fight would go out to the desert with their sticks and stones and fight their own fight leaving the rest of the civilisation out of it. If you’re injured there, well, that sucks. Deny the help civilisation can give you if you deny the values and comfort it offers. That’s war. That’s fight. But bombing each other, bombing schools, civilians, killing children is not war. That’s cruelty. That’s inhuman. Not even animals kill for pleasure or revenge. We are far worse than them.

People who live in the Holy Land fighting do not deserve the privilege to live there. They have not earned the right. Destroying a land that’s the birth place of beautiful things and considered holy by many religions is just barbaric.

We were given the intelligence and the skills of communication to live in a place and we deny God by not using it.

I don’t regret choosing Judaism as my religion but I feel ashamed to be called Jewish if those who are cruelly kill people are also claim to be called Jewish. They’re ruining the main teaches what Judaism has been offering for thousands of years. I’m fairly sure Muslims who are identified with terrorists and whose religion is recognised as humiliating and violent feel the same way. Islam and Judaism are not about violence.

The below is sentences are the relevant article on Wikipedia regarding the Torah and violence:

The Torah provides the following rules for how to fight a war:

Pursue Peace Before Waging War.

Preserve the Ecological Needs of the Environment.

Maintain Sensitivity to Human Life.

The Goal is Peace.

 

The ancient commands (like those) of wars for the Israelites to eradicate idol worshipping do not apply in Judaism today. Jews are not taught to glorify violence. The rabbis of the Talmud saw war as an avoidable evil. They taught, ‘The sword comes to the world because of delay of justice and through perversion of justice.’ Jews have always hated war and Shalom expresses the hope for peace; in Judaism war is an evil, but at times a necessary one, yet, Judaism teaches that one has to go to great length to avoid it.

And the same applies for Islam:

Peacemakers are agents of good and those who breach it are elements of corruption and sin. It is therefore observed that peace and peacemaking are seen in Islamic tradition as part and parcel of human development. In Islam peace and making peace are seen as Godly acts worthy of praise and reward. In Islam peace is advocated as a divine quality to be pursued in order to achieve the state of felicity that we were in paradise, man’s former dwelling.

But regardless of being religious or not or which religion we follow the below picture tells a lot. That’s how the Israeli-Gaza conflict looks like from the space:

 

image

Yes, the space. Is it really the way how we want to use science, all the knowledge we gathered in the last ten thousand years? Is it really the way how human beings want to be seen? Rather than being peaceful and mature as I’d expect it from adults who have learnt a lot.

More information regarding the picture (Photo credit: Alexander Gerst) is available on and a nice and touching video on http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org

 

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