As the perpetual struggle in Israel rages, many people, worn from the conflict and tired of the bloodied images strewn across their television sets and the front pages of prominent newspapers, are simply shrugging their shoulders with indifference.
While this attitude may be a natural response to bombardment of gruesome images, the pain and suffering of millions of people in the Middle East, at the very least, deserves our attention and acknowledgment.
Many who have made these war-torn areas their home were not a part of the initial decisions that led to the struggle today, and while many of them are fervently connected to the movement, many people living in these places were born into this perpetual struggle, constantly living in fear and surrounded by hate. Despite the frustration many of us feel toward this war that has dragged on for more than two generations, the suffering of these people is something that deserves our utmost attention.
Now, the conflict has spilled into Lebanon, a country still emotionally recuperating from its civil war 16 years ago, leaving 203 civilians dead and tremendous damage to the nation’s infrastructure.
The strife that continues to plague the people in Israel, Palestine and, most recently, Lebanon has a complicated history. The feud between these nations began 59 years ago with the establishment of a nation as a refuge for persecuted Jews and the anger that resulted from the Arabic nations that were forced to abandon their land to create the new nation. Now Lebanon has gotten in the mix, further straining the lives of the people in Middle East who had once been exempt from these problems.
What further complicates things is that there is no definite right or wrong side in this conflict. Both sides have a compelling argument.
The creation of a nation as a haven for a group of people who have been discriminated against for thousands of years is an extremely noble thing, yet the indignation felt by the already suffering people forced to leave their homes and surrender a part of their land to someone else is entirely understandable.
The one aspect of this perpetual struggle that should not be shrugged off or easily dismissed is the havoc being wrecked upon the lives of the civilians living in these nations. Many people living in these areas have never known peace and the threat of a bombing has become something routine and accepted.
No one should have to live in this kind of angst-ridden environment, especially people who are suffering from a multitude of other problems, from extreme poverty in Palestine to thousands of years of persecution in Israel.
Regardless of the seemingly never-ending conflict between Israel and Arabic nations, it is paramount that we acknowledge the continual pain felt by people living in these nations. While Americans may be bombarded with graphic images in the media, many of these people are bombarded with these gruesome scenes on their doorstep.
Although the struggle is often overwhelming and even tiresome, we cannot let the emotional needs of these people go ignored.
Our representatives are powerful and influential. Rather than sitting on our hands, we must be proactive in a positive way to create significant change in the Middle East and contribute to ending the deep resentment and hatred that is has become prominent in these countries.