My heart bleeds for the innocent. Seeing the brutality and utter barbarity of war that spares no-one from being blown to smithereens infuriates my deep sense of decency and respect for humanity. Those corpses carried away on stretchers or those mangled-up bodies strewn across the streets among the debris could be my infant child or my son or my own daughter; and could very well be my mother, my father and any one of the people I live and die for and yet, they end up as rubble to be disposed of by the insane actions of others in the name of religion or a piece of barren land.
The island of Cyprus is right in the middle of such a dangerous mentality. The right to exist belongs to all and nobody has the monopoly to deny that right to others as long as that right does not threaten its own right to exist in peace.
Is brutality and fundamentalism in the Middle Eastern genetic makeup or is it a unique human virus that decides who should live or who should die? No matter what it is, Cyprus is not so far away from this madness; 45.000 Turkish troops and 400.000 Turkish settlers are a stern reminder that nothing is what it seems – the virus is very close to home indeed.
It is most infuriating watching the slaughter of civilians, women and children being blown up in the lunacy of man’s stupidity. As always, those who are not affected quickly take sides in support of either Israel or the Palestinians. While brutality can never be justified, unfortunately it’s not as easy as that: religious fundamentalism and radical Islamists are behind most atrocities that take place across the world today and Hamas has a lot to answer for provoking the killing of their own people. Israel on the other hand could have spared the massacre of Palestinian civilians; pre-warning them of bombardment is not good enough! Two wrongs don’t make a right!
The question one should ask is: who will be the next victim of radicalism in the area? While Hamas is at war with Israel, ISIL radicals are on a killing spree across Iraq and Syria in the name of Jihad. Three years on after the Spring Revolution, Libya is at it again and in a bloodbath. The Jihadist virus once again is behind the new massacres attempting to enforce Sharia Law across the country.
Hamas cannot ignore its own responsibility for provoking and choosing war rather than negotiations. But, one cannot talk sense to those not prepared to see reason,to see that peace is greater than annihilation! Those deep underground tunnels were built for a purpose and certainly not for tourism. The maze of burrows reaching deep inside Israel – just like the Vietnamese warrens – were strategically planned, costly and painstakingly built to attack and kill Israeli civilians and for no other purpose. Israel has the right to defend its citizens and destroying those tunnels is correct. The unprovoked kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers and dumping them in a mass grave triggered the present massacre and Hamas have to take responsibility for their actions and cannot simply wash their hands and blame others.
Palestinians are peace-loving people but among them are small minorities of radical Islamists who declared Jihad against the perceived “enemies of Islam.” It is recognized that only 10-15% of the 1.3 billion Muslim population are supporters of Jihad and this is also true in Palestine and especially in Gaza.
One sees the fundamentalism in action when mothers rejoice the death of their children by wailing and calling them “martyrs” – a word only used by Jihadists. It is also common knowledge that many Palestinians refuse to save themselves in a show of support for Hamas and choose to use themselves and their children as human shields, willing to enter martyrdom.
This is madness in the making! No peace can ever be achieved with such an archaic and distorted mentality, when people are willing to burn their own children on the altar of their own hatred.