Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gaza, #2

This may be as scattered as my swirls post from about a week ago.

I am still troubled by what is happening in Gaza.

I am still troubled by mainstream media news coverage.  I am troubled that they didn't report that the Hamas leader Israel targeted and killed last week was working to forge a permanent truce between Hamas and Israel.  Yes, Ahmed Jabari was a Hamas leader and yes, he was not always a proponent of peaceful measures, but at the time he was killed, he was in the process of negotiating peace between Hamas and Israel, not in some hypothetical and distant-future way.  He had received a draft of a permanent truce agreement only hours before he was assassinated.  How did mainstream media miss that detail?

I am troubled by Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian missiles.  I am troubled that I've only heard the number of rockets launched from Gaza, but haven't heard the number of Israeli missiles.  This troubles me because one of the arguments I read in comments after news articles goes something like this: "We shouldn't focus on the huge difference in number of Israeli deaths and Palestinian deaths. That is not important. We should focus on the number of missiles being launched.  Current number have been launched from Gaza."  In those comments, not one person has said how many missiles have been fired by Israel.  Is that number not significant to the argument?

I am troubled by the 130+ Palestinian deaths and the 5 Israeli deaths.  I'm not sure if the death of a protester in the West Bank is included in the Palestinian death toll.  I am troubled that one protester has died and others have been beaten, harassed, and/or arrested.  I am troubled by other injuries incurred on all sides during the current violence.

I am troubled by hateful comments I've seen about both Muslims and Jews from readers responding to news articles. The comments aren't about specific people (not that those are better), but general comments aimed at the millions who fall into each category, the kind of comments that show both ignorance and intolerance.

And yet, I am also hopeful.

In the face of it all, I have to see hope.  Someone has to hold onto hope, or there will be none.  So I choose to see a larger vision than the one that makes me want to scream and cry.

I am hopeful because Israel has not yet launched a ground invasion into Gaza.  Peace talks continue.

I am hopeful because some Palestinians, despite repercussions they may face, are protesting peacefully. So are Israeli activists in Israel. So are international solidarity groups, including groups like Students for Justice in Palestine right here in Louisville.

I am hopeful because my American friend who is living in Nablus, Palestine has chosen artistic expression as her way to release grief over what she is seeing and hearing.  I am hopeful because she is teaching creative writing and may just give her Palestinian students one more outlet for their pain.

My hope is fragile, but I will protect it in prayer and nurture it in love.  I ask you, too, to help me pray not that one side wins and another loses, but that all sides win, that all those involved in the conflict find refuge from the sparks - of violence, anger, hatred, and fear - that can only create more of the same.

So I ride on a see-saw of trouble and hope.

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