The images coming out of Israel and Palestine over the last month and a half have been heartbreaking.
In response the brutal murder of an estimated 1200 Israelis (among victims of other nationalities) and the kidnapping of more than 100 hostages by terrorist group Hamas, Israel has launched an all-out attack on Gaza and other areas of Palestine. So far, Israel has reportedly killed more than 12,000 Palestinians including thousands of children. Food, water, electricity, medical oxygen, and fuel are in short supply creating a catastrophic situation in Palestine.
Who’s to Blame?
Hamas is a notorious terrorist cell that deserves to be arrested and held accountable for their actions. In many ways, Hamas seems to be actively working against the cause of Palestinian freedom. They apparently use tunnels under hospitals and schools to conduct their murderous business, effectively using their fellow Palestinians as human shields.
The heavy-handed Netanyahu government of Israel, however, shares a lot of the blame for dramatically escalating the conflict with their indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. Yes, the Israeli government did tell the Palestinian people to flee the area before they started dropping bombs, but they also knew that Hamas would block the passage of Palestinians to regions outside of the bombing zone and that, ultimately, the Palestinian people had nowhere else to go.
The Myth of Redemptive Violence
This situation demonstrates the hopelessness of war to ever solve the world’s problems. They kill a thousand of us. We kill ten thousand of them. And God weeps. Our absolute refusal to see the other as our equal worthy of love and respect has been the downfall of the human race throughout our violent history.
As Shane Claiborne said last week, “Killing is the problem, not the solution. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We will not build a peaceful world by killing each other’s children”.
I hope and pray for the safe return of the Israeli hostages.
I hope and pray for the end of this (and all) war.
I hope and pray that one day human consciousness will evolve beyond the fear that keeps us from turning our swords into plowshares.
Until then, we work for peace.