Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I am no expert on Israeli-Palestinian history, nor do I have any solutions to the hostile emotions that have led them to what seems to be perpetual conflict. What I do have is personal emotions that react to stories of civilians being slaughtered in the wake of a 9,000 force invasive Army.

To live as Israel has done for as long as I can remember, with missiles and Suicide Bombers wreaking havoc when least expected, has got to be the worst way to live. Think about it. If you go to the market, visit a restaurant, take a bus, send your kids to school....an explosion could demolish your family with no warning.

We can't blame the Israeli for their anger at this constant problem. After all, we did invade Afghanistan when the World Trade Center and its neighboring building went down. Our country rose up in communal indignation and cheered at the thought of retaliating for this horror.

Yet here we are, praying that India will not retaliate for the ruthless destruction in Mombai, that bombs will not result from the clues that the Pakistani terrorists were responsible for this carnage. The worry is doubled because both Pakistan and India have nuclear capabilities and their wrath could cause considerable damage to the world's environment.

We did not ask that Israel show the same restraint, but rather asked Hamas to halt the missiles that are being sent daily over Israel. It's as though we understand the reasons for war in one situation, but deplore the reasons in another. These things make world events very difficult to comprehend, especially for an amateur like me.

For a long time, I have cheered the Jewish people. They have created a "flower in the desert," a flourishing society where each person has worked hard for success. Our dollars have helped them, with governmental funds and with monies gathered from almost every Church in our nation. We have helped them and supported them and encouraged them in every way. They are the keepers of religious artifacts and locations that are a parcel and part of our Christian beliefs. This is also true of the Islamic artifacts and location, as well as the Jewish. It is a combustible fact that Israel is located in a religious bombshell, where several religious faiths meet headon.

But what about Pakistan? What I read concerns poverty, of people in camps, of hunger and privation and misery. How can hatred not feed of itself if all of this is true? How can resentment not become a burning flame in the heart? How could we tolerate a successful, powerful Israel...supported by our dollars and our good will...and ignore hungry, ragged children and people living in want of basic necessities? What is going on over there?

Sometimes I wish I had the advice of a person or persons who had knowledge of this area, knowledge of events and places, someone who could melt the stories and articles we read into a paragraph of truth. The trouble is, any person like this one meets either supports Israel and understands its problems, or supports Palestine completely. Have we supported Israel at the expense of Pakistani people in need of help? The stories of the children in Gaza, and in this crowded area, it is said there are 50% children, are heartrending and cruel.

A friend of mine pointed out that the same situation holds true of Mexico, that next door to what has been the richest nation in the world is an impoverished, needy country of people held forfeit by a corrupt government and a successful drug trade. When hordes of these needy, hungry people storm over our borders to work for pittances in American jobs, we are not then so generous; we do not greet them with compassion, but hire guards to stop the flow and begrudge their plight.

However, so far we have not stormed the Mexican borders with a 9,000 strong military, subjecting them to airstrikes and a hail of explosions. This is going on today in Gaza and, if prayer will do it, let's pray that somewhere there is a time for peace and that time is now. I cannot sort out the rights or wrongs of this situation, but I do know that those people who choose war over peace will live to see their grandchildren die. It has been said that wars are declared by the old to be fought by the young, and this holds true of every nation. It is our young of tomorrow that will pay for the wars being fought by the young of today!

For the children of Gaza and the children of Israel, let's hope there is some way for peace in those countries. Every president we have elected has tried to make it come about, but each has come to the threshold of success only to meet failure. Can Obama use his powers of persuasion and his grip on common sense to make any headway on a peace treaty? Will he be the one who can finally bring peace to this troubled, historical land? Will he be able to bring food, money and medical help to Palestinians in Gaza and a cease of Hamas' missile strikes in Israel? Will his powers of persuasion, the charisma that brings 200,000 people to hear a single speech be able to soothe the hatreds of people so immersed in resentment that they threaten to annihilate each other?

If so, Barack the Magic Negro, as the Republicans scathingly sing, will truly bring magic to the world!