I have wrestled the last few weeks with how to express my feelings regarding the conflict in Israel/Gaza. I have friends, close friends, on both sides of the field of support. As with any strongly held belief, the happenings of in that region have been a spark point for debate, argument and in not a few cases heated words. I hope and pray that the current truce/cease fire will last past the end of the week and innocent people can rebuild their lives on both sides.
Violence is a poor way to enforce doctrine and an even poorer way to enforce peace. In the United States, there is the clarion call that an armed society is a polite society. While I will not speak of gun ownership here, I have attested for a long time that an armed society is a frightened society. Civility and peace bought on the edge of a sword rarely lasts. History has taught us this lesson repeatedly. Even those societies where one side of the conflict is literally wiped from the earth eventually fall prey to those who see the victor as a threat.
Warriors and soldiers of each nation on the planet fight to defend ideals, ways of life and interests. These interests overlap; otherwise, leaders would not see the need for armed conflict. I do not diminish the service of these individuals. In the end though, there is a theater of conflict that is someone’s field or town. These areas take the brunt of the war and are not always rebuilt. Looking at the pictures from Gaza as well as others from around the region, there is cause for concern as civilians go homeless. Some…many… do not have the capability to rebuild. Others do not have the ability to rebuild, either because of wounds or because family members who would stand by them have been killed in the ensuing conflict.
Children have died…parents, friends, family have died…entire communities no longer exist…only patience and the future will tell whether or not we as a global community have learned our lesson. In the present though; mothers weep, brothers and sisters cry out in anger, and fathers bury their families in one last duty.
Below is a link to an article written by Rabbi Michael Lerner. While controversial to some, it offers an insight into the conflict as well as the sociopolitical issues of the Israel/Gaza/West Bank region. Rabbi Lerner is a very articulate man of peace. I highly recommend the read.