I have little to add to the many sources of opinion and reporting on the current round of violence in the Middle East. This particular piece, however, did what I think is a particular good job of summing it up:
“The motives of vengeance, which drive us to kill those who have killed people we love, are completely irrational, even if we try to wrap them in rational packaging. We exact vengeance because we hate and are hurting, not because we excel in mathematics and logic. Early in the aerial bombing of Gaza, five young girls from the same family were killed, and many more children have died on both sides of the border in recent years. The attempt to introduce their bodies into an equation that would make their deaths justifiable or comprehensible might be necessary to influence current events, but it is still enraging.”
The word vengeance stuck out to me. I can't do much about the direct situation of friends on both sides of the Gaza strip from afar. I can, though, affect the way I interact with my neighbor, my co-worker, my family can't I? These thoughts are, as most already know about me, inspired by my Baha'i Faith which states:
“Compare the nations of the world to the members of a family. A family is a nation in miniature. Simply enlarge the circle of the household, and you have the nation. Enlarge the circle of nations and you have all humanity. The conditions surrounding the family surround the nation. The happenings in the family are the happenings in the life of the nation. Would it add to the progress and advancement of a family if dissensions should arise among its members, all fighting, pillaging each other, jealous and revengeful of injury, seeking selfish advantage? Nay, this would be the cause of the effacement of progress and advancement. So it is in the great family of nations, for nations are but an aggregate of families.”
An exchange of fire is seen between the area of the Erez Crossing and Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip
early January 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL)). More, some disturbing, here.