War, Part 2

I’ve been reading and hearing some things since the Hamas attack on Israel and I feel like I have to say this: The Hamas soldiers are terrorists and butchers. They’re war criminals. They’re about as low as humans can sink.

But this is what they’re not: They’re not “the Palestinians.” They’re not “the Arabs.” And they’re certainly not “the Muslims.”

They’re a group of angry young men deliberately stoked into a vicious, murderous mob, then turned loose on an ancient enemy. Killing Jews is the main goal of Hamas, but not their only one: repression of women and LGBTQ+ people is right up there. They deserve the condemnation of the entire world.

But if the violence in the middle east is ever going to stop, that condemnation cannot extend to the people these butchers came from. Israel’s thirst for vengeance is understandable, though one could desperately hope it doesn’t get indulged. But I’ve been hearing the same thing from here, from people who’ve lost no one, for whom it’s a matter of taking sides. Bomb Gaza back to the Stone Age? Pound the Palestinians into the dirt? Really? And from the other side: This is Israel’s fault? Israel got what it deserved? Really? Israel got nothing. Little children got slaughtered in the streets.

Are there cooler heads? Are there backstage talks going on, actions being taking, flames being quenched? I don’t know. I have to hope so. Otherwise this spiral of death and blood will go on and on until there’s no one left for anyone to hate.


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