It's Not Okay
By Gary Silverman, CFP®
For much of the year I’ve concluded my column with “May God Protect the Innocents in Ukraine.” There have been other thoughts and a few times I forgot to add anything. Now it just seems quaint.
I’m glad Michelle wrote the article last week. It gave me time to think about this. I don’t know how you reacted as you saw the news coming out of Israel and Gaza, but I don’t think our brains were built to wrap themselves around such events. They shouldn’t have to.
As a writer, I was compelled to say something. Yet for many days most of what I’ve been doing is typing, erasing, and then trying again. Not only that, as I’m writing this, a massive, modern, angry military force is poised at the gates of a 140 square mile piece of land holding over 2 million people. Half of those are children.
Think of that when you hear someone say that Gaza should be nuked; Gaza should be flattened; Gaza should cease to exist.
You know what happened. But I’m writing this before the tanks roll in. I can only conjecture. And it is a nightmare.
When your enemy is both suicidal and has a life mission to kill you, there aren’t a whole lot of options. What Hamas did was not a military operation. This wasn’t collateral damage. It wasn’t sloppy targeting or a malfunctioning weapon system. Their goal was clear: to kill as many Israelis as they could, civilian or military; armed or not; man, woman or child. Just slaughter them.
I was raised in a Jewish household. I know that for millennia, one group or another has sought to exterminate the Jews. The cry from the Holocaust is Never Again! Israel’s military is going to do what it thinks it must to keep this attack by Hamas from happening again. And in the process a lot of other innocents will die.
Looking at Wikipedia, I read that there are 6 “conflicts” going on that killed 10,000 or more this year or last; 15 where 1000 to 9999 died. And 21 “minor” ones where 100 to 999 deaths have been recorded.
May God Protect the Innocents in Ukraine.
May God Protect the Innocents in Russia.
May God Protect the Innocents in Israel.
May God Protect the Innocents in Gaza.
May God Protect the Innocents in Myanmar.
May God Protect the Innocents in Sudan.
May God Protect the Innocents in Kurdistan.
May God Protect the Innocents in Chad.
May God Protect the Innocents in Syria.
May God Protect the Innocents in Ethiopia.
May God Protect the Innocents in Afghanistan.
May God Protect the Innocents in Haiti.
May God forgive us for I have so many more to list and nowhere near the space to spell them out. I do not care who is at fault. Most of the time there is enough blame for all. What matters more to me is that in every instance, innocents die. So many more are injured. And those with scars that aren’t physical are innumerable.
I don’t own rose-colored glasses. I know conflicts are inevitable. I know a response is often required. But I don’t have to like it or make light of it. It is a very human tragedy.
Find a way to help the innocents.