I’ve been watching the war in Israel unfold in horror. Having spent a semester abroad in Jerusalem (traveling across Israel during that time), it connects with me in a way other conflicts don’t. I don’t quite know what to say about it, but I also didn’t want to blithely traipse along in my blog (where I often discuss current events) and simply ignore it. So . . . here goes.
During my time in Israel, I met many Israelis and many Palestinians. They were all lovely people. Welcoming and cordial. Walking through the streets of the Old City is still one of my favorite experiences, seeing so many people from so many backgrounds mix and mingle and interact. It felt more full of humanity than any other place I’ve been. The place breathed history.
To see this all spiral into violence and chaos is tragic. Tragic that it got to the point where some people felt that the only way they could get what they needed was through acts of terror. Tragic for the innocent people who have been murdered. Tragic for the people who will be affected by this, as water and aid get cut off and so many will suffer.
Anyone who tries to paint this situation with a black and white palette is being obstinately ignorant. This has been a situation that’s been problematic for decades. Centuries, really, if you study the history of the area. And yet you have groups like the Harvard student clubs, who released a signed statement saying, “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” A friend of mine pointed out on Facebook yesterday that in the aftermath of 9/11, there were some who really wanted to lay the blame for the attack on America. Were American policies to blame? They certainly played a part. Was it helpful at all to point that out?
I wish there were some easy solution to this entire mess, but we’ve been trying for years to broker a lasting peace deal, and it just hasn’t worked yet. I’m praying for a quick end to the hostilities, and for a better future for the Palestinians. But I also can’t condone the sort of acts that Hamas unleashed on civilians. Nothing justifies that.
And I guess that’s all there is for me to say about the matter for now. Feeling very discouraged.