The Holy Land Bleeds … Again
Please consider donating to the FāVS Fund for Social Justice Reporting
Commentary by Maimoona Harrington | FāVS News
Hearing news and seeing horrific images all over news platforms on Hamas’ recent attack on Israel and Israel’s declaration of war and attacks on Gaza is making me extremely sad. It is also bringing back memories of my journey to the holy land. What I saw and felt there makes me wonder how one can shed so much blood on this holy land! Historically this land and its people suffered and recovered many times from such horrific battles, but its sacredness deserves, demands and seeks peace only.
On a personal level I am finding it very challenging to write this column. Foremost, I prefer peace over violence, and I understand that no one is pro-violence. However, being human — often consciously or unconsciously — leads us to bias. We find reasons to justify violence in terms of vengeances and reactions based on our beliefs, ideologies or any kind of political or tribal affiliations. Being a human, I am finding it hard to see the sufferings of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Peace is not an option: It is our destiny
Now war and violence have become a matter of bilateral destruction
and peace a source of bilateral survival.Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Israel-Hamas war is not really something new.
Israel’s current declaration of war to Hamas’ attack is not something new. Gaza and its surrounding wall speak of its existence. Israel is surely surprised by Hamas’ sudden attack and was not prepared. But, again, with all its technology and state of art intelligence systems in place, they did not intercept such an attack. This calls for speculations and raises questions on Israeli intelligence.
When the Arab-Israel conflict is not in the news, it does not mean it has ended. It is dormant, festering behind the world’s other latest breaking news. Just this year back in April, there was a clash between Palestinians and Israeli police at the holy mosque of Masjid Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. These clashes have become an annual ritual and always results in Palestinian casualties.
A historic deal was in process to normalize Saudi-Israel relations. However, considering current events in Palestine, this is in jeopardy.
Palestinians are spread all over the world as refugees. Such crisis creates hardships and challenges for their diaspora abroad. If one person claiming to be a Muslim commits an act of terror, all Muslim communities are labeled as terrorists. And now because of Hamas’ actions, the Palestinian diaspora will suffer. That whole community will be blamed for the acts of one person or organization.
What if roles were reversed?
I also wonder what would have happened if roles were reversed. Would Palestinians have reacted he same as Israelis? I do not know, but I will say sometimes the reaction to oppression and suffering comes in ways that are not expected. It also provides an opportunity for external elements to react on behalf of the oppressed. Just like Hamas, who international securities claim to be a proxy for Iran.
Photos and videos are airing of Hamas firing missiles, killing innocent Israelis and taking many as hostages. With those images, we also see Israel firing missiles destroying and demolishing residential buildings, mosques and hospitals and killing innocent Palestinians. People are either siding with Palestinians or with Israelis. Again beliefs, ideologies or any kind of political or tribal affiliations plays important part in these views.
Hamas will get the lethal and swift response from the overwhelming Israeli forces, but what about the Palestinian civilians living in Gaza without shelter, electricity, fuel, food or any medical aid? Who will give them swift justice?
We need solutions not more bloodshed.
It’s time to find solutions or this bloodshed will continue. It must happen now. If solutions don’t happen quickly, then some other latest news will take over media. And once again, this matter will become dormant under piles of news. Both sides must give and take and not let any affiliation win for their own agendas and gains. Politics only work when there is an advantage to the politicians. Meanwhile, wars are money-making machines. Presently, this issue has been dealt based on political affiliations and international relations.
Justice is the cornerstone of peace. Peace is imperative, attainable and retainable.Maimoona Harrington
I will end my column with this note that the world is numb to everything except the latest news, and it shows how empathetic we are. First it was all about the war in Ukraine, now Hamas, Gaza and Israel. In the meanwhile not much attention has been paid to the recent earthquakes in Afghanistan. Approximately 2,000 people have been killed and 700 houses have been flattened. People are using their bare hands and shovels to dig through rubble and are in dire need of help. This shows what the news draws attention to is all political!
As I shared in one of my recent columns, the world is already suffering from natural weather events, environmental disasters and catastrophes. We do not need more man-made catastrophes through wars.
Palestine is a land of many holy sites for Muslims, Christians and Jews. Let’s seek peace between us and learn to respect the sanctity of people and places.
Salam. Shalom. Peace in both Arabic and Hebrew.
If you want to help the victims of the Israel-Hamas war, you can find various sites helping victims from both sides. This Time Magazine article has several to choose from.
The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.