A reader writes: Palestine/Israel — shattering beliefs

Here’s the Q:
Our church school class is reading “Faith After Doubt,” and we just finished chap. 9: “A Human Problem.”

Our church and our class are quite progressive. Last week we got into a discussion about the situation in Palestine/Israel, understanding it as a crisis in faith – not religious faith as such, but social/political faith or world view. I suggested that the crisis was fundamentally disturbing to people’s pre-existing articles of faith re world order. For example, it shattered Israeli beliefs that “containing” Palestinians would provide long-term security; US beliefs that Israel was a reliable, democratic partner that respected human rights.

Many were thrown back into stage 1 black & white thinking (We’re right! Let’s kill everybody who disagrees!) and many into confusion/disorientation. I’m interested in your thoughts in light of the current crisis and how you suggest we might relate to having conversations with people whose beliefs/world view are different from our own. If you’ve done any writings along these lines, I’d love to share them with the class.

Here’s the R:
Thanks for your question. I think you are insightful to see how those of us who know how to “play” in Perplexity and Harmony can easily revert to Simplicity and its dualisms. Under stress, we tend to regress.

Here is something I wrote on the subject:

I hope it will be helpful.

May a ceasefire come today, along with a long-term plan for a just and sustainable peace … so all children, Israeli and Palestinian, can live in a society that is progressing into peace with justice, not stuck in violence, and not regressing toward even worse violence.