Thursday, July 13, 2006

Middle Eastern Golden Rules

"Do your people have," I asked my college friend from Aleppo long ago, "anything like the Golden Rule?"

"What's that?"

"Here in America we are taught when we are very young to 'Do Unto Others What You Would Have Them Do Unto You.' Do good to others because you want it for yourself. Is there anything in your culture like that?"

"Oh sure, Danny. Our version goes,'Whatever Anyone Does To You, Do Ten Times That To Him'" he said.

"Well, that explains a lot about the Middle East," I replied.

"We have another saying that is related," he added, "And that is that a man should have ten sons - one to carry on the name and nine others to carry on the holy war."

That is my memory. It was long ago.

As to the other side in the Middle Eastern conflict, the Israelis, they appear to have no fear of retaliation, as they punish whole villages for the acts of their members and knock down the family homes of the wayward children who carry bombs into Israeli restaurants. One wonders what principle guides this behaviour.

They appear to be punishing families and communities for not being command environments. In an army, in a business, someone is in command. If you have a problem with an individual, you can go over their head. Israel appears to be punishing its neighbors because they are not command environments. They cannot produce the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Well, bomb them until they develop that ability.


If you do something nice for an Arabic Islamic person, they will do ten times that for you.

If you do something nice for an Israeli, what will they do?


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