The Middle East Conflict

I've withheld comments concerning the current war between Israel and Lebanon, but since the IDF just bombed some of my financial interests [they inadvertently hit a Proctor & Gamble warehouse and I'm a stockholder] I guess it's time to break my silence. I should preface my comments by admitting that spending a couple weeks in Israel last year changed my perspective. Having the opportunity to witness firsthand the tension between Israelis and Arabs caused me to reconsider my views. I used to have unabashed sympathy for Israel. But seeing the plight of innocent Palestinians [don't laugh, they do exist] led me to a more objective view of the situation.

Israel was once the oppressed minority in the region. Although they're numerically a minority in the region the reality is that, militaristicly, they're now in control. The only weapon Hamas or Hezbollah could possibly wield against them is terrorism. The problem is, and this dilemma the US is currently facing, how do you effectively fight terrorism?

Sure, you can bomb countries back into the Stone Age, as Israel intends to do to Lebanon, but this produces two negative results: 1) it victimizes innocent civilians caught in the crossfire and 2) it allows another generation to foster even more hatred which encourages more terrorism. Yes, Israel is justified in its present course of action, but is it wise to keep hammering Lebanon with such force? I don't think so.

I would suggest a more surgical approach to the problem. The IDF could do a lot more damage through assassination and covert opps than through mass bombings, but I'm guessing it doesn't send a strong enough message. And, of course, no country is going to come out and condemn the actions as excessive because they don't want to come down soft on terrorism. But at what point is the continued bombings enough for Israel to feel justified?

Listen, friends, I'm not defending the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas, but it's not just innocent Israelis that are losing their lives here. It's easy to excuse these deaths as casualties of war but seeing the faces of people caught in the crossfire altered my perspective. It's all just really sad.

This crisis is symptomatic, not only of the past 58 years of the nation of Israel's existence, but of thousands of years of conflict in the region. If only Abraham and Sarah had known the longlasting result of fathering a child with Hagar. One little sin committed thousands of years ago affects the lives of so many people today.