Monday, August 4, 2014

At Your Feet

Like most people I know, I've been following the recent flareup between the Israelis and the Hamas led Palestinian government insurgents.  I guess that's what they should be called.  It's such a complex situation to begin with, so the terminology is always dicey.
I know the roots of this seemingly ageless conflict.  I know the convoluted series of viewpoints and most importantly the glaring contradictions.  I've read, with interest, many articles and op ed pieces detailing all manner of solutions or bleak forecasts.  In recent weeks, the glaring problem here is the continual maiming and killing of women and children in Gaza.  Today alone, another report came of 10 death at a U.N. sponsored school in Gaza.  If the thought of that is troubling, then the pictures available are more so.  Tenfold troubling.  With the technology available today the carnage is PTSD worthy.
     Like all wars, this conflict seems to be bringing out the worst and the best in humankind.  Some people remain grounded in their inflexible beliefs, while others cut to the ethical chase.  At what point, I would ask, is it morally acceptable to bomb schools and hospitals?

Of course the media coverage ranges from fairly objective to downright deceptive.  But this morning, as I walked a few blocks from my car to the coffee shop I found myself atop the issue-literally standing on it.  Someone or ones had chalked the sidewalk on both sides of the street for blocks.  Written in white, pink, yellow and blue chalk were the names of Palestinians recently killed in the conflict.  "Killed by Israel" was written near some of the names.  Here and there the age of the victim accompanied the notice.
Many people failed to see or read the chalk marks.  I always knew people rarely looked up when they walked, but apparently they don't often look down either.  I wonder how long these messages will last?  We don't expect any rain for the next few weeks, so that won't be a problem.  I suppose it's possible the chalk scrawling will offend some.  Will they take action?
Tomorrow, at 8:00 a.m. a ceasefire is slated to take effect.  Shortly thereafter, I'll make my way down the sidewalk to the coffee shop to begin my day.  Like those people in Gaza and Israel, I'll be looking carefully...up and down.

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