The situation in the Middle East is unspeakably disheartening. And that was before I came across this photograph of Israeli girls writing love letters on shells headed for “Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.” (Via This Space; see also “Civilians killed in their homes in southern Lebanon.”)
I agree with the succinct assessment my friend Colereux offered in email this weekend:
We’re always given a Hobson’s Choice when Israel is involved. Israel’s army is strong — tactically — and its enemies are weak, so the IDF has a choice whether to butcher civilians and Hamas/Hisbollah/Fatah has no card to play except mayhem.
When we condemn the IDF for killing civilians (as it has done so very callously in Lebanon) we are forever accused of ignoring the slaughters committed by the terrorists. But Lebanese civilians are not terrorists (or anything except citizens of a shaky state trying to recover from a civil war), and your enemies’ war crimes do not excuse your own.
Update: In the past few days, several people have sent me links to this post, which purports to provide context for — and thus to explain away? — the bomb missives.
Leora Skolkin-Smith (Edges: O Israel, O Palestine), coincidentally writes: This war is growing more horrible each day, with the true casualities being the innocent. I am trying to organize a reading or event in order to donate to Seeds for Peace, an organization in Maine that funds camps for Palestinian and Israeli children to learn peaceful ways of cooperating. This is important, to start focusing on the children, as the adults are forever lost to their own violence…. This is a completely neutral reading, only about helping the innocent and not in support of the war machine of either the Israelis or Hezbollah. Though my own family are living in bomb shelters and being bombed I still see the necessity to end the terror to the innocent in Lebanon, too…. [N]o one deserves to die at the ends of this madness.