There is almost nothing positive or constructive that has come out of the war in Lebanon. It is an unmitigated disaster for everyone directly involved. But I have to say that I have found humanity and compassion in places I wouldn’t have expected it. I’ve discovered wonderful Lebanese blogs (some featured at Israel Palestine Blogs), which have articulated a by no means monolithic analysis of the situation. Their perspective is subtle and nuanced and often is able to embrace the humanity of the Israeli side. I don’t know if I could muster as much of an ability to ‘reach out’ to the enemy as they have.
And here is yet another example of this from a Syrian man who wrote to me via this blog:
Thank you for your blog.
In 1973 my family was spared being pulverized, by a mere 40 yards – Israeli bombs fell across the street instead of on top us – killed those families instead of us – who died instead of the people in the Syrian Air Force HQ on the other side of block. The recent war in Lebanon brought all that back, and along with it, I’m not proud to say, all the anger. I was as old as my daughter is now – and I just can’t imagine…
I’m not stupid, and I’m not violent, and I’m not a bigot, but how easily we can lose our bearings when frustrated. So it took a few minutes for me to adjust to the fact that I was reading your articles and finding common ground while seeing the Hebrew for Tikun Olam at the top of the screen. It was like a balm.
So it worked. You made the world a better place. [ed. this blog’s subtitle is “Make the world a better place”]
I replied to him:
You have no idea how touching your comment was & how important for me to hear. It is good that people hailing from different places, religions or nations can find some common ground & common humanity. I’m corresponding with an acquaintance (Jewish) who moved to Israel. I remember him as being a highly-educated, highly intelligent person who I thought was reasonable, but who now claims that Hezbollah fighters are “not human” and who wants a war against Iran as soon as possible. It makes you wonder how you can have any common ground with someone like that. Yet he swears he’s not racist.
I am so glad that the IDF missed your home. There is so much death & not enough life in such awful wars. Let us hope we can see their end in the Middle East in our lifetimes.