Friday, July 10, 2009

Children Shouldn't Pay

palestine, palestinian, israel, conflict, children,
As a general rule, I don't weigh in on the Palestine/Israel situation. It's complicated, it represents decades, if not centuries, of festering hatred, it involves religious and racist elements, passions run high on both sides . . . I'd rather debate abortion with Bill O'Reilly on national tv, naked.

However, no matter how you feel about the issue, I think you, and anyone else in the world, can agree that children shouldn't pay the price of this conflict. And they are. It's horrible.

More than 300 children were among the 1,400 Palestinians killed and many more were wounded during the 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on January 18, according to Palestinian figures.

And experts say a vast majority of the children who make up more than half of Gaza's 1.5 million population, will bear the psychological scars for years to come.

"Children here have lost joy in life. They can laugh but there is no joy. They are unable to maintain hope," says psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj, who heads the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

Seven-year-old Ahmed Salah al-Samuni smiles timidly as he is tossed a green plastic ball but quickly loses interest, instead digging his nails into a couch in a brightly coloured room used for psycho-social counselling sessions.

"I remember that Israelis came and ordered us out. Shells were fired," he says when asked what he remembers of the war.

"Grandmother and grandfather are dead," he says, going on to list about 10 others who died when his house was bombed. In all, 29 were killed in the attack, 18 of them from his direct family.

"I love Azza and want her back," he says of his two-and-a-half year-old sister who was among the dead.

After the attack, he lay in a pool of blood. It's only when he cried out for his mother that she realised he was still alive.

A large scar runs across his face, another along his hip. His nose is still deformed from the shrapnel wounds.

Just a few months ago he had regular fits of rage, when he'd beat his brothers and break whatever was in his path.

"He'd scream out at night: 'The Jews are coming to kill me'," his father says.
I have no answers, no comfort for a little boy who misses his dead sister, no words of wisdom to end decades of hatred and conflict. I can only say that I wish hugs could fix the world.


  1. Israel is the good guy. I have had this conversation with another individual. She disagrees. In the pamphlet "Israel 101" and in the newly released movie "Obsession" and also in Prophecy 20/20 by Chuck Missler, it is revealed that the terrorist community hides among the Palestinian people and uses them as hostages. The Radical Muslim community is using the Palestinian's situation as a way to turn the world against Israel which is absurd and everyone is falling for it, except the Christians who are the smart ones.

  2. Hi friend, peace...
    Your post very informative, thanks...
    If you willing visit my blog, and read my post at
    And... if you love books, read The Holy Qur'an please...

  3. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. It's not really about who's the good guy or the bad guy.

    What matters is that war and conflict causes children to suffer horribly and they shouldn't have to suffer like that. We need to keep that in mind at all times, we need to be aware of who suffers for our actions.

    Children, no matter whose children they are, are never the bad guys.

  4. I have read the Qur'an, btw. I've read every holy book I could get my hands on. I think the Qur'an definitely loses something in the translation to English.

  5. The only problem I have with this sort of argument is that you can apply it to any war. Children always suffer because of war. Even if they aren't being killed or wounded directly, they are suffering from having their parents killed or maimed.

    In my opinion the only thing that can reasonably be expected is that children not be directly targeted. But in situations where military action is necessary and civlians are present, children are going to die. It's just part of war.

  6. I know this isn't about who's right. I don't know the answer. But I have personally met more than one pro-Palestinian Israeli.

    As for the children, the biggest problem is that when they take the blunt of the feud, they become terrorists right there and then. Hurting the children just creates the next generation of suicide bombers, and that is terribly sad.

  7. Chris Geiser, I'm seriously hoping your comment is a joke.

  8. I'm with ya PF, I wish hugs could do that too

    oh and as for the "peace" man, I'm pretty sure it's a bot, the same thing is on my blog word for word, Lorenas too and the swamp but seeing it there made me laugh.


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