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Israel, Lebanon... and the US, Syria, Iran and Iraq all Victims of Extremist Religious Fascists-- and Fanatics.

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See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
Lebanon is the most obvious victim right now. Their national infrastructure is being destroyed, people are being killed, displaced, injured...

Israelis are also victims, hiding in shelters, facing the reality that their government is responsible for horrible actions, becoming the recipients of new levels of hate and contempt from billions around the world.

US citizens are also victims. They must watch helplessly as their "elected" leaders watch in silence as Israel destroys a nation. They watch in silence as the Lebanese people are victimized. They watch helplessly, knowing that the reason the US and the Bush administration is silently allowing Israel to pound Lebanon, destroying its infrastructure day after day is because there are neoconservatives at high levels in the US government, all appointed by Bush, who are hungrily, droolingly lusting to attack Syria and Iran. They want to continue their failed, irresponsible imperial campaign to express and make use of the full power of the USA, as the world's only superpower.

Who are the extremist religious fascists?

My evangelical friend warns me to be careful when I discuss born-again evangelicals, and he's right. There are millions of born again evangelicals who are quite rational. But then there are those who have bought the Bush Republican line hook, line and sinker. AND... they also buy the LEFT BEHIND rapture story. They're so excited and happy to see the increase in hostilities in the middle east, they're literally whooping for joy, giddily thrilled that they will be "raptured," taken up by the returning Messiah, along with all the other "believers" while the rest of the humans on the planet either suffer nasty deaths or are "left behind" in a kind of purgatory. Really, these people are struggling with the question of whether they should cancel vacation plans or plans to move, because the mideast crisis is getting hot enough so they will be "raptured" and won't need to travel. These people are HAPPY about the conflict. They Support Bush's hands off approach that allows the kettle to boil. These people make up a major part of Bush's remaining base.

Then there are the Israeli ultra-orthodox Jews. These folks have it pretty sweet. They get to push for a bigger Israel, for settlements in the occupied lands, for upping the conflict, and they are exempt from the draft that affects the rest of the Israelis. The theory is, their little boys are too precious because they are studying the torah, the hebrew version of the bible. I would love to see a few million US jews tell Israel to get rid of the grossly inequal and unfair law. Perhaps if these Israeli chickenhawks had to put their children in the same danger that the rest of the Israelis do, they might take a different tack.

Let's not forget the evangelical Shiite Islamic mullahs in Iran, who would love to see a Pan-Islamic middle east, with all the countries controlled by Islamic-- sharia-- laws. Bush's simple-minded approach to installing democracy in the middle east is not working, not when Islamofascists take this gift and turn around and use the opportunity to end democracy and turn the government into one based on Islamic law, like the taliban had. Iran loves the conflict in Lebanon.

Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine real, lasting peace coming to the middle east while the religious extremists are still making their trouble.

I was talking an old friend who's Jewish. He was saying that there will NEVER be peace in the middle east. I replied that this idea, of a forever war in the middle east is unacceptable. that an Israel forever at war should not be. "But what about Iran," he asked. "What about the ultraorthodox Jews in Israel?" I replied.

Extremist fundamentalist religions are a dangerous threat to the planet. It is possible for fundamentalists to be enlightened, to practice their faiths without forcing their beliefs on others, to respect other faiths. I've met people who practice such faiths. Somehow, we need to come up with ways to enlighten the people of these extremist faiths so they no longer need to support war, killing, conflict and toxic evangelism. I don't have the answer, but this is a challenge I haven't heard discussed very often as a potential solution. We need to start exploring this option instead of bigger and better weapons.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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