This morning I was awakened by a sad npr (BBC?) report by and about a doctor operating a hospital in Gaza — struggling to maintain medical care there without basic supplies such as pain killers with which to carry out operations.  One of his young sons struck by a car died before he could be cleared for adequate care available only in Israel.

Again, I am hearing an almost daily drum beat of Palestinians who have been killed by the IDF — five yesterday.  The numbers of these deaths must be mounting.  We all know that Gazans shoot rockets blindly into southern Israel.  But the kill ratio that once was about one Israeli for each three Palestinians during the bombing attacks of several years ago has now changed radically just to Palestinian death after Palestinian death.  Since these killings are often accomplished by rockets from on high, one must believe that the collateral damage is great.  And the constant torture and anxiety must be mind bending for those who fear being targeted.  I imagine the terror with which small children must be growing up.  I was a child of WW2 and there were several years when we were terrified by the prospects of possible invasion by the Germans or Japanese.  But we never directly heard bombs and rockets exploding — only saw friendly war planes passing through our skies.

I guess my ultimate point here is that we have become so accustomed to the killings over there (in Iraq as well as Israel/Palestine) that we have lost contact with the human reality that each death brings with it the suffering of those who loved and cared for the one killed.  It is all too easy to promote reasons for hatred and excuses for such killings.  Such is a very old human game that defies all that for which a humane civilization stands.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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