Thursday, January 15, 2009

Waning Moon - Waxing War

It is clear and 48-degrees tonight in Gaza. The waning gibbous moon is probably visible - still 75% full and lighting up the evening sky. This is what the people of Gaza will see tonight...if they have a moment to look up. The Israeli military spent the day pushing farther and farther into Gaza - killing, terrorizing, and generally demoralizing Palestinian citizens. Today Israeli troops advanced their war on rocket-lobbing Hamas militants in Gaza by shelling five high rise apartment buildings in a crowded neighborhood. They also bombed a hospital, international media offices...and, the United Nations. Here's what that looked like: UN relief workers had just gathered up 700 people from war-ravaged neighborhoods of Gaza and offered them a sanctuary at the compound to wait for peace to develop. Miraculously, only three of those people were injured in this morning's attack. The refugees have all been moved to a nearby school in Gaza City. A school was bombed by the Israeli military last week. Forty students were killed. I wonder how safe those displaced families feel tonight? Thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies were also being stored and readied for distribution at the UN compound. 80-percent of Gaza's population is now dependent upon international relief supplies to exist. Tons of that food and fuel burst into flames today: Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, says Hamas started it. He claims the militant group launched rockets from the United Nations buildings. A UN official says "nonsense!" Olmert, to his credit, said the consequences were "sad" and "we apologize for it." Unfortunately, international aid workers cannot feed hungry Palestinians with an apology. As the day ends in Gaza, 70 Palestinian bodies have been counted as Thursday's dead. Since fighting began between Hamas and Israel on December 27, 1,100 Palestinians have been least half of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis have died. It's a clear night in Gaza. The moon over the tiny seaside territory that is home to 1.5 million Palestinians is probably glorious. Step outside at your house tonight. Look up. It is the same moon. Waning gibbous. 75% full. Growing a bit darker every night. And we're the same people. Growing families. Nurturing big hopes. Praying for peace. We are the world.

1 comment:

dhello said...

At the very least, we people of faith (ALL FAITHS) in the international community should promote tremendous humanitarian relief for the suffering millions in Gaza. We should also enlist the help of Israeli citizens to make good on their government's apology by funding some of the aid needed by the Palestian people - not the Hamas government. War has unintended consequences. It's the extreme dysfunctional relationship. It's throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is NEVER the answer, yet we humans keep imposing it on each other. What is the definition of insanity? Doing what you've always done & expecting a different result. It works the same in international problems as it does in family squabbles. I'm coming to believe that diplomacy must begin with people within countries talking to each other - not their heads of state. That kind of dialogue is unique & could prove to be the catalyst for a different type of engagement. How do we make that happen?