An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind. With the Israel-Gaza conflict, we are fast heading in that direction as even the United Nations is warning.
The UN is calling for an immediate ceasefire due to the 8,000+ deaths, not to mention the injuries and maiming of civilians by heavy bombardment.
In an era of 24/7 television and speedy communications, war has become very visible and global. This was not so even 50 years ago, let alone 300 or 3,000. We now also have weapons which can destroy the world many times over. In the past, war was more localised and contained, with the bloodshed directly visible rather than separated and distant. The pain is coming straight into our comfortable sitting rooms and shaking us profoundly. Yes, both sides are to blame, but a lot of innocent people are the victims. That can never be justified.
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Children will forever be traumatised by this experience. Those far away may see the pictures and ask questions about why, and what for, and who is behind the violence. Palestinian children seem to simply have given up. They cannot even cry – their eyes speak volumes. Innocent children hear loud noises, watch anxious parents and see playgrounds turned into rubble, with little food and water for their growing bodies. Their pain is fuelled by our guilt, anger and hideous crimes. We ought to be answerable to the voiceless and the vulnerable. There is no way that any army can destroy the anger and pent-up despair of a whole people. War is never a solution for peace. Its embers burn the whole of society.
We can act through prayer, social media, writing to our MPs or simply discussing the war rather than keeping quiet in the face of overwhelming violence. We can support our colleagues and friends whose families have been affected by this trauma.
As faith communities, we can come together to condemn the violence and protest for peace. However small our actions, doing nothing is not an option. Our Dharma calls for Satyagraha and Ahimsa.
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