Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reflection on the War in Israel/Gaza While I would not call myself a world traveler by any standard, I have traveled to a few war torn areas of the world including, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. While in those areas, I saw evidence of the violence; experienced the terror of death squads; and heard stories of how the violence of war ripped through families and how poverty was deeply linked to the violence of the conflicts. While in Gaza, I visited a family of 14 living in a two-room house, with a dirt floor and little to no furniture. The father talked about his inability often to access his worksite because it was in the West Bank, outside of Gaza’s city limits, and many days he could not cross the border. I heard of the lack of medical care for the children and I physically saw the garbage that littered the streets because public services were almost non-existent in Gaza. It was a humanitarian nightmare that still wakes me at night. Then, as well as now, the magnitude of the nightmare leaves little room for one side of the conflict to blame the other to justify the horror that children are enduring. The conflict that is happening right now in Gaza is again reawakening my memory of my visit some 22 years ago and is re-traumatizing me. While I know the reasons behind the offensive in Gaza has a long, complicated, violent and political history, it is my deepest yearnings that the violence will stop; that no more civilians or military personnel will be lost; that a way to peace might emerge.

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