As I watched the news of the unfolding war between Israel and Lebanon I find myself becoming very angry that the international community, especially the United States, has not simply told Israel to stop their shockingly unreasonable offensive against the innocent people of Lebanon.

I’m merely an armchair observer, but this situation in the middle east seems to be spiraling out of control and the unfolding war between Israel and Lebanon is adding yet more nails to the coffin of peace in the region.

But here we are two weeks into this latest bloody war and the international community is not telling Israel to stop the bloodshed, and today Israel announce that they see this as the rest of the world effectively standing in support of their gruesome violence.

I know that Reece has in the past called me “block headed” so maybe that is why I simply can’t understand why it is that the United States will not stand up and tell Israel to stop killing innocent people. Israel seemed to deliberately target an unarmed UN observation station yesterday, ignoring ten calls to tell them to be careful, eventually putting an end to those calls by striking the station with a precision missile hit destroying it completely and killing some of the unarmed occupants. Israeli air-strikes have also targeted red cross ambulances too yet they continue to insist that they are not targeting non-military targets.

Yes I understand Israel has come under fire from all sides and sits among volatile neighbors, but lets not cast them in too favorable a light. I think that with this recent round of violence Israel is demonstrating that it has lost the ability to be reasonable. In many respects this should be of no surprise, when one is surrounded by violence then such a thing becomes a mindset, but this is no excuse. Just as we should excuse Hezbollah for their unprovoked attack upon Israel, so we should also not excuse Israel for responding in such a disproportionate manner.

It’s difficult for us to fully appreciate the Israels feelings given decades of violence that they have endured. Indeed it’s difficult for us to appreciate anyones day to day existence in any country in the war torn middle east. But putting it in a more local context might provoke a line of thought that could be a little more challenging than simply watching people in some far off country bomb one another. Lets imagine if you will that the British decided in the 1990’s that after nearly 30 years of Irish terrorism and bombs exploding on British soil, the best way to deal with the problem would have been to send in the air-force to bomb the crap out of troublesome Irish communities known for their IRA sympathies. Imagine the scenes as the bodies of hundreds of innocent Irish men, women and children are shown being dug out of the rubble of homes leveled by British missiles.

Now imagine the outrage when our Prime Minister says that we’re fed up with the violence in Britain and this is the only way we feel it can be stopped. America would have been the first to protest of course given their rather questionable standing on IRA terrorism. But lets assume we ignore America and continue to level street after street and kill many more innocent people with our bombs. Is it unreasonable for me to suggest that perhaps a person who might not have been anti British, who may have had no connection to the IRA before, might now be very sympathetic and even moved enough to pick up a weapon and inflict violence upon Britain due to what they see and experience after British air strikes reduce their life to ruins?

The UN says that half a million people have been displaced within Lebanon by the fighting, and that number, along with the body count, is rising. To me this reads as half a million people are now far more likely to develop strong anti Israeli opinions and therefore pose a significant threat in the form of potentially joining militant groups like Hezbollah.

In discussions about America’s unwinnable “war on terror” some people have told me that it would have been wrong of America to idly stand by and do nothing when the people of Iraq were living under the unjust iron fist of Saddam Hussein. I’m curious as to why then I am not hearing those same voices screaming at the American government to stop Israel from escalating the violence of the Middle East.

Does history teach us nothing? Nothing will be solved by dropping more bombs than the other guy or firing more bullets than him. This cycle of hatred will simply continue, and while some Christians see this as ‘foretold’ in the Bible as a sign of the return of Jesus, this cannot surely be used as the excuse to stand by and do nothing in the face of such an injustice.

Todays orphans may well become tomorrows terrorists. Thirty six years ago Owen Franken took a series of chilling pictures of young girls preparing for war at a Palestinian refugee camp. The pictures are a graphic illustration of how hatred is a learned behavior, and depressingly, despite mankind’s great leaps, it’s a behavior we seem unable to shake.

Red Cross ambulances destroyed in Israeli air strike on rescue mission
Israel says world backs offensive
Video : Reminders of War in Gaza