Tuesday, January 30, 2024

#30 / "Only War Will Work"


The words I have chosen for the title of today's blog posting are quoted from an article in the January 24, 2024, edition of The Wall Street Journal. The article is pretty long, beginning on the front page of the hardcopy edition and then occupying a full page inside the first section. If you are a Wall Street Journal non-subscriber, and would like to test The Journal's paywall, to see if you can read the article online, click on the following link: "Undeclared War Simmers At Israel-Lebanon Border." That's the hardcopy version of the title.

Below, coming from the online version of the article, is a picture of what that "Israel-Lebanon Border" looks like. The picture of the escalator, at the top of this blog posting needs, I hope, no further explanation. 

The border area where a potential war is brewing, is in an area in which Hamas is not significantly present. Hezbollah, however, is.  

The areas in Israel, pictured above, are just across the boarder from Lebanon, and those who live in Israel are now worried (after having seen, on October 7th, what Hamas did) that Hezbollah will try to do the same thing, or something similar, in their border area. Currently, both Hezbollah and Israel, with Hezbollah operating out of Lebanon, are exchanging missile fire, and artillery bombing raids, and there are sporadic episodes of stealthy infiltration by Hezbollah into Israel. The United States has been working for a cease-fire, based on Hezbollah pulling back its fighters from the border. 

The Journal article ends as follows: 

Shadi Khalloul stood on a blustery hilltop in the Israeli border town of Jish and pointed to where a small group of Radwan had infiltrated the valley the night before. Israeli jets had hit them, their bombs flashing in the rain, said Khalloul, a Maronite Christian and major in the Israeli reserves. 
To his left stood Mount Meron, where Hezbollah damaged an Israeli air surveillance base earlier this month, partly overcoming its defenses by firing more than 60 missiles. 
Straight ahead, over the border, lay the mainly Shia village of Yaroun, from where Hezbollah fired a Kornet missile at a school in nearby Kibbutz Sasa last month. The antitank missile made a mess of the school’s newly renovated auditorium. Had the children not already been evacuated, “we would be fighting in Lebanon by now,” said Khalloul. 
Behind him stood the Maronite Church of Our Lady. Next to it lay the ruined columns of a Roman-era synagogue. In the valley sat the tomb of the biblical prophet Joel. 
Israeli forces evicted Khalloul’s grandparents and other Lebanese-Arabic speakers from Baram during Israel’s war of independence in 1948. Still the former career soldier is a proud Israeli, calling it the only safe place for Christians in the Middle East. “You cut my veins, you see Israel there,” he said, pointing to his wrist. 
“People are angry with the government because nothing is happening,” said Khalloul. “We don’t believe that any diplomatic solution will work. Only war will work.”

I don't live in Israel, or in any of the areas immediately surrounding it (though I have been there). With all deference to those closer to the conflict, I very much question Khalloul's conclusion, as expressed above. Outrages have been committed by those on both sides of the conflicts involving Israel, surrounding nations, and the terrorist groups whose conduct (as exemplified by what occurred on October 7th) provides a justification for the claim that "only war will work." 

War will work? Really? 

War doesn't seem to be working now, and hopping onto the escalator I picture today doesn't promise any relief that I can discern. For a while, I affixed a little "mini-poster" to my office window, sent to me by FCNL, the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Here's what it says, providing better advice, I think: 

War Is NOT The Answer

Some may prefer to ride the escalator, but the picture I have utilized above, as I now realize, might be misleading. It shows an escalator going up into what appears to be a sunny, peaceful day at the end of the ride. It is better, perhaps, to show an escalator operating deep in the bowels of the earth, because the escalator of war is not heading up, into the light. It is actually heading in the opposite direction.


1 comment:

  1. God bless the Quakers, and you for raising the qustion.


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