A cease fire in Gaza has allowed the full scale of death and devastation to be be seen. Hundreds of people killed and wounded, mostly civilians in a few short weeks. Buildings and utilities destroyed. For what? For pride.
There is no doubt that the conflict in Palestine is complex. There is no easy solution. Outsiders will not be able to make a solution, but they can help and they should stop fuelling the bloodshed. The Economist sketches the problems with their leader The Hundred Years’ War here.
There was a global outcry against the bombardment of Gaza by Israel. While observers could sympathise with Israel for the trouble they feel on their borders, they knew that the belligerent response was primitive, futile and unjust. (Those with a perspective drawn from the conflict in Northern Ireland, know that to live together in peace is better for all.)
The irony of the ceasefire is that both sides may say they have “won”, though many lives have been lost, reconcilliation has not been discussed and protagonists remain convinced that further violence is the solution.
The solution to the conflict between Arab and Israelis will not be based in politics but in an emotional enlightening in which people are able to forgive and move on. Violence must be removed from the equation. Money must be spent on creating communities, jobs and well-being for all, rather than weapons. But this is unlikely to be realised until those outside the region set an example and grow out of their their long standing prejudices and righteousness. Prayers must be for peace, not for vengeance.