Gaza, Israel and the Inadequacy of Human Responses

I have always believed in the value of brevity. The fine phrase, the purple passage, the adjectives rattling along in quick succession: they should all be deleted. Every word should count, even if that means some readers worry that I have not ‘covered the ground’ as I ought. Sometimes, there simply are no words at all. What is happening in Gaza now is unspeakable; so too is Hamas’s continuing rocket-fire into Israel. We can pray, we can fast, but most of the time all we can do is watch the tragedy unfolding. I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of that. What is happening is not an Arab crisis or a Middle Eastern crisis, it is a humanitarian crisis — one in which we are all involved. Our helplessness, our inability to end the misery, is a painful reminder of the fact that we are not gods. We cannot bring about peace just by wishing it, nor by expecting the other person to make compromises or concessions. Peace can only be achieved by recognizing our own powerlessness and willing a change, even at the expense of appearing weak or foolish or both. Perhaps the real problem is that we don’t actually want to change. Let us pray that is not true of the people of Gaza and Israel.

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3 thoughts on “Gaza, Israel and the Inadequacy of Human Responses”

  1. I’ve never understood the complexities of the relationships between Israel and the Arab communities which they displaced when Israel was formed.

    They go back more years than I can count, but the human disaster that is the whole middle east at the moment is just one huge mess of suffering and death, fought out over the bodies of innocents civilians.

    Prayers don’t seem an adequate response, just as wishful thinking that it will be settled soon. Every time we see shoots of peace, one side or the other destroys them in thoughtless, needless conflict.

    The only sign of hope that I’ve seen was the pictures and the story of the bereaved Israeli and parents consoling each other and praying in solidarity. If their example could be spread by God’s grace among the warmongers on both sides, what a great change could be wrought.

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