Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let us ask today what healing we can create.

I found Adina Saperstein's piece in Haaretz, brought to my attention by my friend and teacher Alan, to be particularly inspiring:
From Haaretz:

Here is the last portion of her article.

A crucial step in reversing this process and reclaiming the
possibility of peace with a sovereign and politically and economically
viable Lebanon is to ensure a rapid humanitarian response to the
Lebanese civilians caught in the crossfire with Israel, followed by an
intensive reconstruction effort. Both must be implemented in a way
that ensures that resources are channeled through entities that do not
support Hezbollah in any way. Both relief and reconstruction efforts
should be supported heavily both by Israel and its supporters.

The directive to "love your neighbor as yourself" has been interpreted
as referring to "neighbors" defined as those who share value and
belief systems. Most Lebanese indeed share deep values with the
Israelis - a deep sense of victimization and loss, a strong national
pride, a longing for the power to claim and maintain a sovereign,
peaceful state, and an abhorrence of violence and Hezbollah, which
holds them captive to provocations and attacks. On the most basic
level, Lebanese share the desire to enjoy the cafes, beaches and
nightlife of Beirut - as their neighbors wish to enjoy those in Tel

If we allow resentment of Israel's recent actions among the millions
of Lebanese left homeless and bereaved to fester, we will lose our
neighbors to the north and be left with even stronger dominance by

How disheartening then, that as American Jewish generosity focuses on
the needs of brothers and sisters in Israel, not one major Jewish
organization has considered investing in humanitarian relief and
reconstruction in Lebanon as well. Morally, whether we support or take
issue with Israel's actions in the battle with Hezbollah, we should
still feel compassion for the immense suffering of millions of
Lebanese who do not support Hezbollah. Pragmatically, Israel's
stability in the region depends to a great extent on its Arab
neighbors reaching the same level of economic development that Israel
has attained.

As supporters of Israel, it is incumbent upon us to contribute to this
process if we wish to see peace in the region within our lifetimes.