Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel, Lebanon and the cycle of violence


I and the people know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.

W.H. Auden


Today my heart is sick and sad. How many more will die before the right of all people to live quietly in peace is respected?

In November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the British Mandate in Palestine into an independent Jewish state and an independent Arab state:

"The vote on partition was taken at 5:35 P. M. Representatives of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen, four of the six Arab member states, announced that they would not be bound by the Assembly’s decision and walked determinedly out of the Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow. The Egyptian and Lebanese delegates were silent but walked out, too."

(From the New York Times, November 30, 1947 - article available here)

The Arab war on the putative Jewish state began immediately. Two days after partition, Arabs rioted in Jerusalem, killing two shopkeepers and attacking a synagogue and an ambulance en route to a hospital. Over the next two months, the violence escalated into a full-blown siege of Jerusalem: telephone lines between Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine were severed and because the roads into the city were unpassable, food, water and other vital supplies became scarce. (The siege was not broken until June 1948.)

So began a cycle of violence that has continued unabated since 1947, killing untold thousands of people, resulting in the destruction of countless homes and businesses, and leaving an entire people refugees in their own land.

Today I pray that someone has the wisdom and the strength to do what others could not do, and stop the cycle of war and suffering the has plagued the "Holy Land" for so long.

Namaste.


1 comment:

"James" said...

I pray for peace too. May Avalokiteshvara bring compassion to everyone involved in the conflict.