Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mi-po ani lo zaz

I've been reading a variety of things about the war in Lebanon for the past two hours. I've been reading hawkish stuff, dovish stuff; those that equate the US with Iran and Israel with Hezbollah, and those who care nary a bit that so many innocents are being brutally killed.

I am not sure what to think (not that my thinking anything about this makes any difference whatsoever). I am generally symphathetic of Israel -- it's surrounded by enemies who wish its complete destruction. But also am horrified that the country with the largest percentage of Christians is being destroyed so. [Not to say that such destruction in a non-Christian country would merit less horror ...]

Anyway, FWIW, here's a roundup. Salon has a piece on the view from Israel: 95% of Israelis polled support the war. The stakes are high, it's now a matter of existence, of survival. The piece links to a post by an Israeli peace activist, who also supports the current military action. It's beautifully written and quite compelling. The First War All Over Again.
“This is our home. Mi-po ani lo zaz. From here, I am not budging. And he repeated his refrain over and over again. “This is my home. And from here, I am not budging.” Mi-po ani lo zaz.
[snip]
Now, the bitter reality of which Israel’s right wing had warned about all along is beginning to settle in. It is not lost on virtually any Israelis that the two primary fronts on which this war is being conducted are precisely the two fronts from which we withdrew to internationally recognized borders. We withdrew from Gaza, despite all the internal objections, hoping to move Palestinian statehood – and peace – one step closer. But all we got in return was the election of Hamas, and a barrage of more than 800 Qassams that they refused to end. And then they stole Gilad Shalit. Not from Gaza. Not from some contested no man’s land. From inside the internationally recognized borders of Israel. As if to make sure that we got the point – “There is no place that you’re safe. There is no place to which we won’t take this war. You can’t stay here.”

Because as much as we have wanted to believe otherwise, they have no interest in building their homeland. They only care about destroying ours.
On the other side, Thomas Storck at Traditional Catholic News plumbs the Catechism, mainly when discussing the US role in Iraq, but also talks about Israel. :: Update :: Another former peace activist becomes hawkish in a piece at Spiegel. Here's a piece at Ha'aretz that takes the opposite view. [I'm not sure why the author stops where he does. If he takes his thoughts further back, all the way back to 1948, then it was Israel that "started this." So, the only real solution is for Israel to disappear. Well that's what Hezbollah says as well ... ]

There is, quite understandably, outrage in Lebanon at the destruction of their country, with good links and updates at the Lebanese Blogger Forum.

Today's NYT has a piece on Beirut: how the north of the city is largely affected while the Sh'ia south looks like it was hit by an earthquake. There's also a piece on Syria, which is where most of the refugees are ending up.

From a Christian (and almost entirely Protestant/evangelical) perspective, Christianity Today has a series of articles with differing perspectives on the conflict.

One of the most terrifying quotes that I read was over at the Corner at NRO.
"You cannot be objective about an aerial torpedo. And the horror we feel of these things has led to this conclusion: if someone drops a bomb on your mother, go and drop two bombs on his mother. The only apparent alternatives are to smash dwelling houses to powder, blow out human entrails and burn holes in children with thermite, or to be enslaved by people who are more ready to do these things than you are yourself; as yet no one has suggested a practicable way out."
George Orwell wrote that in 1938.

Finally, Don Jim has a post about St. Sharbel, a 19th-century Lebanese saint. It seems appropriate to ask for his interecession to bring about peace.

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