Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

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I have been trying to formulate a stance on the present conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, but I am finding such a task more difficult with every passing day. At heart, I am a pacifist, and it is hard to merge my beliefs with the reality. I do believe Israel has a right to exist, and whether or not its creation in 1948 was a mistake doesn't change that opinion - we can't rewrite history, and we can't just say "oh, too bad, sod off, we're erasing your country". That kind of practice may have been acceptable in the past (although in a different context, I think here of Europeans totally disregarding established boundaries throughout the world), but it certainly isn't now and it's a sad indictment that people still have not learnt to live together despite racial and cultural differences. So, yes, I support Israel's right to exist, and I support the use of self-defence to maintain its territorial integrity and provide safety for its citizens. Terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah do need to be wiped out.

However, in light of news such as this, I find it increasingly hard to even consider supporting Israel's present action. In the first few days of the conflict, I was close to granting intellectual consent to Israel's actions, given there was a history of provocation rather than just an isolated incident, that they were claiming to target Hezbollah, and that Lebanon is quite simply a failed state, incapable of reigning in Hezbollah. However, the increasing civilian casualties and other hardships placed upon innocent non-combatants outright sicken me and I do not believe it is justified by any means. Israel's response appears excessive, and I question its effectiveness. Aggression often just breeds aggression in response, and the mounting Lebanese casualties will certainly be pushing the sympathies of the ordinary Lebanese away from Israel and closer to Hezbollah. And given the presence of Syria and Iran in Lebanon and Hezbollah's organisational structure, I can't help but get the feeling that this is just a proxy war and again the people of Lebanon are being caught in the crossfire of someone else's war.

My desire is for the destruction of terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and the establishment of a permanent peace acceptable to the ordinary people of both Israel and Lebanon. I just do not know how such goals can be achieved, or whose actions merit support. This conflict is immensely saddening and, I fear, hopeless.
Tags: conflict, indecisiveness, israel, lebanon, pacifism, war
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