The death toll in Gaza now stands at 81 and rising; Israel’s score is still 3 in this deadly, uneven match. An Israeli “defense” spokesman has spoken of “beating Gaza back into the Middle Ages.” Everyone probably has a reaction or an opinion — this isn’t the kind of thing you can ignore. What are you feeling?
I’m feeling intense sadness and grief.
Isn’t it obvious by now that this kind of violence — any violence, really — isn’t the way to peace or security? It’s the opposite of the way. The way to peace is peace; it’s love, or at least respect.
However much the Israeli government, and perhaps the Israeli people, would like to eradicate or frighten away those they’ve come to see as a not-really-human threat, millions of Palestinians will remain, suffering the imprisonment, indignity, and deprivation of Israeli occupation. That kind of “othering” can lead to no good.
How can killing another man’s child, his wife, or his mother make you safer? Palestinians aren’t another species — they feel the same stunned and painful grief, the same helpless rage you’d feel. And their unnecessary deaths and woundings are as important and wrong as any suffering they’ve inflicted on you.
There will always be those who lack the wisdom to see this and the courage and patience to act on that seeing. Real leaders must dig deeper. What goes around comes around.
Only making all our children safe — security for all, no exceptions — will bring peace. Equality and dignity for all, too. We are different, but, like it or not, we have to live together.