I was reading a commentary by a Buddhist teacher on the issue of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and I came across this Sutra which made me think...
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, … upon thoughts of ill will, … upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.
Dvedhavitakka Sutta MN19
It seems to be very much of how you choose to direct your thoughts. But to what extent do we choose what we think? The inclination of our thoughts may be carried by an initial fascination or desire, into a runaway cycle of increasing thoughts of violence or stealing, if you do not decide to motivate yourself against them.
Perhaps by reading or listening to the dharma we shape our inclination in favour of it.
The original article I was reading:
A buddhist response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
From it, this question in particular struck me as pregnant...
I have full faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, but is cultivating The Noble Path sufficient in view of the frightening and painful disintegration of Israeli society and its deterioration into a fascist and repressive one, that is happening before my eyes? I made the long journey from Israel to hear from you, good Dhamma friends: what is your answer to this question?