No win-win situation in war PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 August 2014 13:16



A number of us, though we have never been there nor do we have friends on either side, have taken somewhat of a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This position is the result of what we have seen or read in the media about this ongoing conflict which has been going on for more than 50 years.

Because of this position we have taken, in this  latest version  of the conflict  in our mind one side is definitely the aggressor and the other side is the victim.  I don’t mean to be facetious but this conflict is akin to the “franchise” movies like IRON MAN or PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN. Every so often the latest version bursts into the scene and the media has a field day reporting  on the latest body count.

There are moments when I find myself wishing that the two sides be allowed to fight to the end until a clear victor emerges. Whoever emerges the winner we hope we can enjoy peace in the world for a spell. The trouble though is that unlike the making of a movie where  the director shouts “Cut!” and the corpses get up and dust  themselves off until the next scene is called, here the dead stay dead,  the wounded need time to heal from their physical wounds, the ruins stay as rubble for a long time,   and a new generation of people are created with long lasting hatred deep inside.

I came across an article written jointly by a Muslim and a Rabbi which touched me to my heart’s core. In the article the authors said that when blood is spilled from a Muslim or a Jewish victim there is no difference in color – both shed red blood. I am reminded too of the speech of Shylock in the “Merchant of Venice”.  It seems from the time  of Shakespeare we have not learned our lesson of empathy for each other.

In the  Philippines we have our own version of the ongoing conflict between the separatists, call them  rebels if you so desire, and the government. This conflict has cost thousands of lives already but it does not look like an end is in view even if there are all those hopeful occasions of smoking the peace pipe. Even as one group is forging a peace agreement with the government another fighting group within this same group is continuing  the  shooting war with the government. Is this going to be another “franchise” situation?

If one is to watch the faces of the children from the Gazan families one’s heart literally  has to be made of stone if one remains untouched. There have not been as many photos of Israeli children in the news but one can imagine – several Israeli soldiers have been killed; one can only imagine what that means to the children of these soldiers.

There is no win-win situation in war. One side may be forced to lay down their arms at the end of the fighting but most certainly both sides have already lost.