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And welcome back to a spirited debate well it seems the bloodiest conflicts in the world have something to do with religion Israel and Hamas in the Middle East in Iraq and the Sudan.
Well it leaves many people to say that religion causes all the problems in the world is that true well.
Joining us again on the panel -- Ratner bureau chief of talk radio and news service the Supreme Court executive director of this -- coalition and thank you I hear you -- -- it was an -- traffic to get here.
I did -- -- -- LA when it rains could forget how to drive that.
That's true is it we can when it snows here I think it's the same thing.
-- I would you know one other than.
The complex has really kind of forefront of our minds is what's going on in the Middle East between Hamas between Gaza and Israel.
And it seems that -- sort of interesting things that always pull us together I have to do with religion and particularly in the Middle East it becomes a bloody affair.
Do you agree with -- or is there something else going on.
Well I think if there's more to it I mean he's the reality with Israel and Gaza is that.
-- to populations that that are divided and that our geographically separated.
And they happen to be a different religious -- and I think that religion has become.
-- has become part of the debate and it's easy to simplify and look at as a religious conflict but the reality is that it's about a lot more than that.
It's about you know the right -- Palestinian self determination it's about.
Two group of two groups of people who are.
Looking for security and peace and safety and well being for their populations.
And it's about an occupation that stands in the way of that and -- sometimes it gets easier to simplify things and -- well.
It's just Jews vs most -- and I have -- -- we have it -- the majority on both sides to our clearly defined by these faiths but.
But the reality is that that the same time the the people on the ground don't.
Don't have -- religious -- I religious animosity what they have is.
Political and social animosity that's rooted in the realities of you know that -- again the safety and security of their own lives and their ability to.
To prosper and to feed their children.
-- -- But oh well yeah well religion or is it about politics I I agree very much with what she -- however I will say.
That I am a person that believes that religion can be extremely dismissive and there.
I sort of take The Beatles imagine no religion because I think religion is very.
Very tough and actually if you look at Israelis who have not been born in his Atlanta gonna bash messages that came -- after -- -- -- about people who live their life there and you take a look at Palestinians.
They are genetically similar.
And you look -- you know 2000 year history and I just think take away the religion get people to cooperate.
I remember the does that mean you can't -- of the but yeah I don't understand that would be -- reaction.
The -- the problems let's get we were never listen no it's not the religion.
And I say that religion is kind of the red Herring religion is really the thing -- -- look at.
People behaving badly I don't know any religion that doesn't have that any human I don't -- and that's really what the -- I don't disagree and you know I grew up Jewish I mean I -- I'm ethnically Jewish.
But that -- it hadn't.
-- hadn't Jews in America taken Palestinians in.
As business partners in the fifties and sixties they would be in this mess and I remember the chief of police in Jerusalem saying mother was -- Total Arab and Israeli cooperation on car theft.
Well -- I thought well there's cooperation on -- that I think there's got to be cooperation on business and where Israelis make mistake and you -- my -- -- -- and for her bachelor's degree and she found out that an Israeli areas.
In in in Israel itself.
They picked up garbage three times a week in Palestinian areas in Israel itself I'm not back occupied his -- Not garbage was picked up once we the people can't tolerate micro aggressions and they got a clean up their act I think that's what.
-- pleads innocent -- largest straight out resources -- -- power.
And and that's the source of the conflict and then people love to throw it on top.
To -- -- as -- if you actually look at the the core tenets of most religions they do preach a certain level pre of peace and love and harmony.
The problem is is that most people don't the focus on those issues because of political Asians get -- little too much and finally I don't know how many people actually practice their religion.
That well I mean I mean.
I'm -- an example of NORTHERN IRELAND where they were it was like the Protestants the Catholics and -- -- a -- start well by Catholic he says.
I'm a Catholic why don't believe in religion all that stuff but I'm a Catholic South -- -- the -- -- -- -- second.
So he was using his religion as a political platform.
He didn't believe the faith at all and I and I get the feeling that perhaps something like that is going on in the Middle East and and it you know what do you think.
I yeah I think I think they've captured it well in the sense that it can -- easily become about identity and to some degree tribalism in the sense of you know -- people vs your people and who we affiliate with -- and we thought that.
We we have that happening here in our own country when you know I look look at what happened after 9/11.
-- people got hyper patriotic and and understandably so I mean I was 101 on them.
-- after you don't sound -- was -- people got hyper patriotic there's this sense of you know of August.
But but the detriment of that.
Is that if it.
That people who are the vast majority of people are religiously illiterate break so.
But -- most fun and I value -- and accountability and electric -- they have they're probably -- read their own data probably haven't read their own religious tax fair and so it becomes very easy for so called leaders or self styled leaders.
To manipulate them and to say well you know your faith -- our book says -- XYZ.
It says -- -- go killing.
And because of religious authority sometimes on being able to manipulate people.
That just becomes another layer of what exacerbates these conflicts you know that it's it's -- they're at their heart there.
Their political and -- -- rooted in people's human rights but in order to you know -- inflame things -- get things going.
Sometimes unfortunately religion is used as a catalyst.
That that -- and unfortunately then it becomes labeled as the source of the problem where it's really not.
That I really have to go back to John -- who was who don't want and then you know.
Great man of enlightenment and I called -- only because he really is the person kind of translated.
The law like that the ten commandments into kind of a secular form.
Understanding that you know Lexus -- Law is king and that in the great thing about that is that works.
If all of your people overcome somewhat homogenous in terms of their race in terms of -- -- that's -- -- economic level all those things work.
If you really believe that we are brought here -- you know with a clean slate and nobody has any ideas and from an -- and an intuition it's.
That may not be true because modern psychology has sort of said we don't want maybe we aren't weren't believers were -- believes in something.
So here you've got a situation where we'd like to believe that we don't have anything but.
We really do have to believe in something regardless and like like -- you're saying most people don't know their own thing.
And now you know -- I -- it's can be reduced in my view the President Clinton did at a dinner for the I think it was prime minister of India.
And one of -- in the man was sort of going down the the rope line of the press and talking to all of us -- handed me a card and on the back -- it said.
If you cannot see god in all you cannot see that at all.
And I think if we had that as a religious -- we've been a lot better -- -- absolutely I don't mean this is how this is and this is a quartet of most states I would I would guess.
That you have to see got a.
I can go ahead go ahead -- -- -- that I think if anything reality christianity Judaism is planned Hinduism buddhism you name it at the heart of all of our facing traditions is the idea of if you believing in some sort of greater power however you label that greater power.
And a sense of the united the doing on to others that you would have them do want -- you.
I you can find a translation of that and practically everything that is out there.
You can also find you know negative and violent.
Visions within all of those space you know at the same time because there are always those extremist fringes.
But will we will we really need is our our religious leaders to keep up lifting that that positive unifying message and that message of service and compassion.
Over over the other message -- that a better divisive.
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