Monday, December 29, 2008

Palestine and Israel

Once again, Israel and Palestine's uneasy truce has fallen apart and innocent civilians on both sides are paying with their lives. Four Israelis, 3 of whom were civilians, and 365 Palestinians, 60 of whom were civilians, lost their lives in the violence. It is a gruesome reminder that one of the gravest conflicts of our times is still very much alive and destroying the lives of many, many innocent people on both sides.

Both the Jewish and Islamic traditions subscribe to an eye for an eye justice. But Israeli response to Hamas rocket-firing has been disproportionate. 365 lives for 4. According to their own traditions, that leaves them with a debit of 361.

But violence cannot be stopped by more violence. It is the hard truth that people and governments of our times are yet to learn. But even in today's extremely grim situation, I find myself sincerely hoping – against all hope – for a swift resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for lasting peace in the Middle East.

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