My thoughts on the Palestinian and Israeli conflict
The current situation in Gaza has led me to wonder, ‘how should we define justice?’ If the innocent women and children being killed in the current offense in the ongoing conflict were your mother, wife, son or daughter how would this make you feel? It probably might make you want to attack back and then find yourself being labeled a terrorist. If you want to stop Hamas, then find a way to do it without taking innocent life. Innocent life should never be an acceptable part of retaliation. Again, if it were your child, would you accept it? And if it happened to your child, how would it make you feel? Probably make you want to kill someone, or make you vulnerable to someone’s lies and maybe in your despair you would do the unthinkable, like strap a bomb to yourself and gain supposed revenge by killing more innocent people.
War, if it has to be fought, was meant for a battle field where two sides meet to fight it out. If we give into our enemies and hunt them down in the cafés, or the house, or on the streets and take with them the people, like you or I, who are just living our lives trying to get by, then are we any better than them? Or do we deserve to be the receivers of the brand of justice they seek? True justice is not revenge, but the hand reaching out to give to you what will open your eyes to see the error in your way. True justice is not for the person handing over the justice, but for the person receiving it. If I steal something from you, justice is meant for me to understand what I did was wrong, so I never do it again –so I grow and learn. It is not so you may feel better because I got punished for taking something of yours.
I am not referring to the law. We make the attempt to work justice into the law, but often times justice falls short within the confines of the law. This is because true justice is universal with a karmatic component to it. The law is black and white; justice is many shades of grey. If the law were to operate with true justice in mind, revenge would have to be taken out of the picture and sentences would have to be such that it would force the offender to see the error of their way. Obviously, this is unrealistic because it would require an overhaul of everything we understand of the law –and many people would still want revenge over justice –especially in murder convictions. With this said, the law, rightly so, is set up to help compensate the victim of injustice. It operates by trying to balance our worldly need for revenge with the concept of justice and if needed monetarily reimburse the victim for any wrong doing. However, war stretches our
understanding of the law and justice, and in some cases goes beyond it.
I look into the Palestinian and Israeli conflict and I see two sides refusing to accept the justice being handed to them, not by their enemy but by the error in their own way. The moment you accept justice –you accept the reversal of the suffering you have brought to yourself. I do not see one side as right, nor one side as wrong –but two sides that seek revenge for the injustice done, but neither side refuses to see that at this point –they only bring injustice to both themselves and their enemy.
I can not find justification for the taking of innocent life, but I do see the need for justice. If this conflict is ever to stop, it will not take one side, but both to put down their arms, stop blaming their enemy, and look to their own side, within themselves for the justice and forgiveness they seek –so they can finally look at their enemy with open eyes and receive the peace they both want and ultimately need now from each other. Unfortunately, I do not see this happening any time soon and this is what saddens me.