At the time of writing, the death toll of children in the current figthing between Israel and Gaza, is Israel 4, Gaza 100.
Also today, we read that one of Gaza’s Hamas leaders, Mahmoud Zahar, has said that Islamists will take revenge by killing Jews throughout the World.
A synagogue in London was attacked and barriers were placed in front of a Jewish school in Manchester. We can expect worse in cities all over the World.
The Israeli prime minister meanwhile justifies his actions by quoting the necessity of stopping Hamas from sending increasingly accurate missiles into his country.
He is denying it but photographs show differently, that he invaded Gaza with the help of white phosphorous shells, not used since the British and American troops used them in Iraq. We know how the phosphorous burns human skin on contact.
So there we have it. I will kill your children because you have killed mine.
Meanwhile the rest of the so-called civilised World waits for the inevitable ceasefire which will probably be just another pause in the sixty year catastrophe which is the relationship between Israel and Palestine.
One thing is for sure. The many invasions, wars and skirmishes between the two states has achieved nothing except the deaths of many.
Israel, born out of the unspeakable horrors of militant Nazi anti-Semitism, now defends itself by killing; bombing civilians in the full knowledge that children have been 1/5 of the casualties.
Will this work? Ok, they may well have an element of victory here. There may be another of those ceasefires and there may be a lull in the firing of those Hamas missiles.
Will it bring peace to the region and the hope of a full and happy life to all those children being born in Israel and Gaza as the weapons explode around them?
We all know that this will never bring peace.
It will add to the already poisonous hatred that exists between Arab and Jew.
It will increase the rebirth of international anti-semitism.
It will add strength to the arms of bigoted international terrorists.
It will bring shame to the generations of political negotiators who have failed to do anything more than issue pious platitudes.
It will continue to make the World a dangerous place to live.
It will result in more and more violent deaths.
It will also hang a question mark above the previously revered name of democracy. Israel celebrates its stable democratic system even though it is almost impossible for one political party to gain a majority without the help of one of the small parties of bigotry. Hamas, seen by many as a terrorist organisation, defeated its political rival Fatah, seen by many as corrupt, at the last democratic election. George Bush squeezed into power eight years ago in the dodgiest American election in living memory.
Put them all together and what do we get? Not only do we need to stop this carnage in the Middle East, where even this week nurses are picking glass out of the new-born babies in Gaza City’s intensive care unit, but we need to defend democracy itself before it is replaced by the rule of vengeance, hatred and murder.
Until the miracle of one side putting down their hatred happens, this can never change. My faith tells me it’s possible, yet my knowledge of history informs me that, sadly, it’s never to be.
In the meantime, we mourn.
One side putting down their hatred would be miraculous….so what wuld be the word to describe what is relaly necessary – both sides do it?