THIS is a war against children being conducted by adults on both sides of the conflict. Over the weekend, we heard of a BBC reporter in Gaza whose 11 month old baby child was killed by incoming IDF fire. A baby injured in Kiryat Malachi, where three people were killed after Palestinian militants fired rockets at the Israeli town, is one of many pictures of children wounded in the conflict which continues to take its toll on infants.
The Middle East conflict is no longer a news story about conflicting national identities. It is an ongoing and tragic tale of infanticide and the psychological maiming of future generations who are no more responsible for the conflict, than today’s generation are responsible for the Second World War.
The brutality with which the Israeli propaganda machine is meeting the naked hatred of Hamas al-Qassam brigades who in turn ring out the now familiar chant of ‘Death to Israel” is really turning the war into an offense against the human spirit. Where is the humanity left on both sides, these brutes who see fit to sacrifice each others children for political gain as if there is some form of moral equivocation, my child for your child, my eyes for your eyes?
In South Africa, where images of children massacred by the apartheid state became common place, we often had cause to remark that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. For all the slaughter, our Freedom Struggle never stooped to this level of brutality. The only legitimate targets were the state. Care was always taken to avoid civilian causalities.
We therefore need to stand firm in our commitment to peace for future generations by saying no to war and military aggression. No to missiles, rockets, drones, combat aircraft, tanks, collateral damage, siege, bomb vests, landmines, barbed wire and hatred.