The great sage Hillel (in the Pirkei Avot), after retrieving a skull from the currents of a river, muses as follows: “Because you drowned others, others drowned you; and those who drowned you will in turn be drowned.” Perhaps American policymakers should contemplate this next time they’re confronted by an ISIS beheading. The terrified victim will likely be an innocent — but the context not entirely so. It is time to change that context; our meddling has not made the Mideast a better place.
And at the risk of sounding like an American Firster, I added two proposals: Announce America’s military withdrawal from the entire Middle East by the year 2018; maintain strict controls on immigration from countries that suffer from radical fundamentalist movements -- but more importantly, offer asylum and assistance in escaping to all women and children willing to flee the sexism and de facto slavery of their homelands. Our peace dividend would pay for resettling them. Asylum instead of war -- that’s what a civilized country offers.
Add in a Russia-China-American-Iranian plan build the economy of the Middle East, and you've got something to support other than slaughter.
Lawrence Bush edits Jewish Currents.