Saturday, November 24, 2012
Israel, Palestine and America's Compassion
Unless you've been under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know that there has been an ugly war going on between Israel and Palestine, possibly the deadliest since 2008/2009. In one airstrike, an Israeli bomb hit the home of Jamal Dalu killing his wife, sister, two daughters, daughter-in-law, four grandchildren and his grandmother.
As I watched the devastation of the war and the response, or lack thereof on social networks, my mind reminded me of Trayvon Martin, Hurricane Sandy and its' aftermath and how Americans rallied together to support and comfort one another; then I wondered, where is our compassion for Palestine?
Day after day various news reports rolled in on Gaza and I could not understand how people weren't moved by this war. One would think that the loss of lives is reason enough to be concerned, but, perhaps it's different when the lives lost aren't those of American citizens.
How can we live in America and see abuse, poverty, and injustice in other countries and be indifferent about it? Have we become desensitized to the ills of this world or is it that we just don't care until it directly affects us? Are our minds so narrow that we only focus on what's directly in front of us, making us incapable of being concerned with the sufferings of others?
We talk of being a great nation, but how can that happen if we fail to look beyond our own backyards.
To be this great nation, our compassion must extend beyond America and to our brothers and sisters in, what we may consider, foreign lands.To be a great nation, we must truly care for our neighbors, for all of humanity, all of the time; not just when wars or natural disasters happen. To be a great nation, our hearts must be in tune with the broader concerns of humanity and not just our individual concerns.
We cannot prosper as a people, nation or world when we see people dying and we choose to look the other way because it doesn't 'concern' us. We must start caring enough to care for others.
America, put humanity at the forefront of your mind and let's see how far we can go, together.