Dr Itamar Bashan, co-founder of Bhavana House, a Dhamma (Dharma) sanctuary in the old north of Tel Aviv, Israel, has sent a link to a very thoughtful article called "Dependently Ceasing in the Middle East: A Personal Account" which he presented to the Buddhist World Peace Conference, at the Sagain International Buddhist Academy, in Myanmar, January 2016.
It resonates with my "fortress world" article in BODHI Times 49.
I have asked Itamar if there was any reflection on rising Buddhist extremism in Myanmar at the conference.
My only long term solution to the problems humans face is to slow their growth and greed. But there are too many “demographic arms races” in progress. Europe slowed its demographic momentum a few decades after World War II but most Europeans forgot about too much of the rest of the world. Now, chaos outside Europe, not only in the Middle East, but also the Sahel and northern Africa threatens European security.
Neoliberalism (seeing humans as primarily rational actors in markets, so that unrestrained market forces will generate maximal prosperity for most) is part of the problem, but even the author of this piece, George Monbiot, is blind to the harm that unrestrained population growth does to development. He appears to not understand the "demographic dividend", the absence of which underpins many failed states. (See also Development, inequality and climate change [PDF] via this link for a recent paper discussing the demographic dividend).
Perhaps there is no solution. We do live in samsara. But, if we use that as reason for defeatism and indifference, then surely we create the karma to ourselves be treated with indifference or hostility.