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And so the holiday is over…and so is Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, such as it was. Two days after Christmas comes news that Israel today struck the Gaza Strip with an attack that has killed at least 170 people–and so, the Terrorists have won again.
The attack was in response to repeated rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, the Israeli military said. It added that the attacks would continue for “as long as it takes.” It did not say it takes to do what.
Even then it won’t stop but for a little while. Hatred, you see, has a long life. Yet one day we will all learn that retaliation is not the answer. Reconciliation is.
Reconciliation, not retaliation, is the only thing that can bring the world to peace. We must reconcile our differences. And we must hear the grievances of those next to us. We must ask, “What hurts you so bad that you feel you need to hurt me in order to heal it?”
This is the question that no — no one on either side — wants to ask. Not in Israel or Palestine. Not in India or Pakistan. Not in Los Angeles, where a man dressed as Santa Claus killed eight people on Christmas Eve…
I’m sorry to be getting right back into “stuff” here today…but unless we confront the stuff that is creating the “stuff” we are seeing all around us, we are going to be seeing a great deal more of it. I am so sorry that Israel did not choose to heed the urgent call of President Bush for calm. The Israeli military felt it had to do what all militaries everywhere are trained and poised and funded to do: protect through the use of violence; attack if necessary to protect.
Yet all attack is called Self Defense. That is true in every instance. Every instance. And no attack brings an end to anything–unless that attack is so devasting that it leaves the other side utterly and completely destroyed. Such was the result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Are we headed in the same direction now? Will this next nuclear attack be the beginning of the War to End All Wars?