I have already stated my sentimental, even emotional feelings about Israel because of the years I lived there and personal connections with Israelis. I have also stated that I do not believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu is genuinely interested in forging peace with the Palestinians. The expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories seems to counter any proclamations of intent.
No people have experienced persecution as the Jewish people have (some may cite Native Americans but the holocaust is still fresh in many peoples’ minds). It was in recognition of the persecution that the international community created the modern state of Israel.
The creation of the modern state of Israel was a miracle - not only from an historical perspective. By sheer innovation in irrigation and agriculture those who resettled the land transformed it from an unproductive barren land to an oasis of flowers, orchards and light industries. I am thinking of the kibbutz and moshav movement. Many newly independent African countries benefited from this innovative expertise.
Not only that. The state of Israel was also a beacon of hope for democracy in a region of feudalism and fiefdom. Most significantly, as people who know experientially what suffering is, the idea that they would inflict suffering on others is difficult to imagine. Furthermore, as People of the Book, they are enlightened about justice and human life.
The ongoing conflict therefore poses many contradictions and sorrow especially for those who cherish the people and the land of Israel. There is the expectation that Israel could rise above Hamas, that Israel would not stoop this low.
Nevertheless, three innocent teenagers were kidnapped and murdered. Somebody would have to be held responsible. Then there are secret underground tunnels from Gaza into Israel and the barrage of rockets that have no military value but used to induce terror.
Is there a noble path out of the current situation? Perhaps! We will explore that next.