Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Simple Picture: Spectators of War

The caption reads: "Spectators on a hill near Kibbutz Nir Am in Israel watch weapons fired by Israeli forces explode over the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli news media show relatively few images from Gaza."*
It's nice to be a spectator of a war (930 deaths so far, men, women and children). I look at this group, and I wonder who will provide popcorn, soda, ice-cream, maybe some falafels. But then again, people have called me a cynic before.
Until I looked at this picture, I didn't know I had enemies. I look at this group and hear Jesus say: "love your enemy" and I just ask myself, "how?"
Back in June, eight students, civilians, innocent, were killed in a lone terrorist attack in the Mercav Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem--the Mercav Harav Yeshiva sounds a little bit like Jewish Jihad from a distance--but my brother and host in Beit Hanoun (north Gaza) commented about how any of these deaths are a loss to all of us, how this cycle of violence has to end some day, how death and killing has to stop. Now my brother is in the prison of Gaza. His house got hit twice. 20 houses around his own house were hit by phosphorous bombs and burned to the ground in the last two days. He decided to send his family somewhere maybe safer and stayed behind, because "some of these bombs are small and can be extinguished to save the house." He plans to stay up every night to turn off the fires.
I wonder how many "spectators" from Kibbutz Nir Am will be watching the show.
Today I am particularly grateful for the Jewish voices for peace and sanity, such as Gush-Shalom, the Other Israel, Not In My Name, B't Selem, the ICAHD and many others.
- Toda - Thank you for reminding me we are one family and we need to watch over one another -- not watch the Other burn.
Sami Awad reminded me today that 'we shall overcome.' We are not spectators.


PS--If you were still fooled about thinking that this war is primarily about rockets being shot at southern Israel, have a read about what is happening "meanwhile back at the ranch," or rather in East Jerusalem. Click here and read about people who did not shoot Qassams and are losing their homes.

*Photo Source: Jerry Lampen, Reuters. Washington Post January 11, 2009 Page A12

No comments: