There Are Only Losers in War
by Munther Isaac, originally posted at Munther Isaac. Reflections from Bethlehem.
Here are some of the facebook status of some of my friends in Gaza: (while they had electricity to use the internet)
"My Lord! this is enough! What is this?"
"Lord protect us. What is this ? terror terror"
"Mistles lot os them"
"The ground is shaking"
There are no winners in war. Only losers. And as is the situation in all wars, the real losers are innocent civilians from both sides. As I write these words the death toll continues to rise, and a high number of the casualties are children. We are now in an unequal cycle of violence.
The Israeli narrative is, as has always been, that it is self defense. The Palestinians have a strong counter to this narrative, specially as it relates to what is happening right now. This has been backed by a knowledgable Israeli peace activist, who stressed that this crisis could have been avoided. But regardless of who threw the first punch, we must keep in mind that we are talking about a very unequal balance of power. The irony is that the force that is besieging and controlling is claiming to be defending itself from the besieged. When will Israeli leaders realizethat until they start treating the Palestinians as equals, humans deserving their full rights, that only then can true peace be achievable. Gaza is under a severe Israeli siege. Israel today even calculates the number of calories the Gaza people need in order to secure as tight a siege as possible. What do they expect in return from Gaza people?
Please understand that I am not defending or supporting the launching of mistles from Gaza into Israeli towns and cities. Please realize that to call for understanding is different from justifying. I mourn with the Israelis who lost their lives just as I do with the Palestinians. All human lives are valuable, and innocent civilians shouldn't be subjected to this. War is evil – period. I do not believe in war or in violence or the so called redemptive violence. In addition, I do not approve of the ideology or the policies of Hamas. I believe that Hamas is a hinderance to peace just as the current Israeli government is. But we must understand why things are as they are today. I believe that the real problem in Gaza is the siege and the dehumanizing of 2.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. This is what feeds the radicals.
War is evil, and there are no winners in war, only losers. We must pray for the end of this war. We must pray that there will be no more casualties on both sides. We must pray that leaders will be more accountable for the lives of their peoples. Lord have mercy.
About Munther: I am a Christian. Palestinian. Arab. Evangelical. Reformed. Unique combination right? God has HIS ways!