In positioning the 2012 movie “Thrive: What on Earth Would It Take?” (video at end of article) next to my experiences in Palestine, I face a screen of black and white. The stark contrasts which surface when I think of the lives of my friends living under occupation strengthen my convictions and give me energy for a way forward.
Foster Gamble, a research scientist for 40 years, asks a powerful question in his movie “Thrive.” “Has evolution developed for 14 billion years only to bring forth a species that is enemy to life itself?” Is the present state of the world really the best we can do?
By comparing systems of energy through a primary pattern called Torus he came to one strong conclusion among many: We humans are not a mistake but we are mistaken, unaware of our true brilliance and power. He insists that we humans are mean to thrive – all of us. War, starvation, desperate poverty, oppression of any kind are not meant to be. These dire conditions are not the nature, the intrinsic inner workings of our world. Rather, the essential patterns of the universe are designed to empower people, to bring each of us to our full human stature, to help all people thrive.
That conclusion of Gamble along with the efforts of thousands of other people working outside of political structures and mainstream media to bring greater awareness gives great hope. Though corporate power has seemingly gained control of our world, has tried to make human rights secondary to corporate “rights,” the truth is that absolutely no person is worthless, good only for the needs of the corporation. We human beings need to claim this innate power, this dignity given to us by our creator. We need to stand tall, eye to eye with corporate heads, not to be controlled.
Related to my recent return trip to the Palestinian Territories, I see that nothing could be so ugly and daunting and demeaning as the unimaginably monstrous Barrier Wall that divides Israel from Palestinian territories. This wall tells the Palestinians they are not meant to thrive by any stretch of the imagination.
This “poisonous snake-like creation” consists of huge, 25-foot concrete slabs bordered by fences, ditches, razor wire, electronic monitoring systems, patrol roads and a buffer zone. It is approximately 708 kilometers (440 miles) in length, twice the length the “Green Line” (the Armistice line of 1949) designed it to be.
When completed, 85 percent of this wall will run inside the West Bank rather than along the Green Line, and 11,000 Palestinians will live inside this “seam line” and will be required to have special permits to continue living in their own homes. Another 23,000 will be isolated when the barrier is completed. Access through the barrier is channeled through approximately 70 gates that are open only during the six-week olive harvest season and usually for a limited period during the day.
I saw the heavy demands this separation wall makes on many farmers and their families who must plan their lives carefully in order to access their land at the times made available to them. I felt the insanity of such overkill “security” as I monitored one of these checkpoints for the farmers. So did the two Israeli soldiers who spoke with us about their distaste in being assigned to this checkpoint. This wall did not build itself, nor did it finance itself.
Gamble's “Thrive” implicitly addresses Israel and every other country and economic or social system which puts these impossible demands upon human beings who have every right to care for their lands, to provide food and shelter and education for their families, to worship when and as they wish. Because Israel is not accountable to International Law, Israel is “free” to lay the burdens for their so-called “security needs” upon innocent people whose rights are then easily dismissed or unnoticed by the majority of the world.
When Palestinians speak up, when they try to claim the power that is theirs, they are often arrested and imprisoned. It has become clear that the international community must intervene and say “Stop!” to such abuse of power and misuse of international funds.
Such a message can start with each of us calling or writing at least one Congressman or the President and insist that it is time to tear the wall down and truly begin to build bridges. The $3 billion-plus allotted to Israel each year by the United States cannot be counted on as long as International Law is not observed. The voice of the universe will rise up with us every time we are intent on being true to our nature and to the rights of every other human being.
All of us are created to thrive.