It is said “When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.”
Those words ring as true today as they have always been and I’m sure, as long as there is conflict in the world, that statement will never run the risk of obsolescence.
In watching and reading media coverage of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East it is next to impossible to form, with any certainty, a clear, fact-based picture of who did what.
There’s no question we can all agree that what has happened, and is happening, is indeed horrific. Innocent civilians – children and adults – on both sides of this battle are falling victim to a constant stream of deadly force crossing their borders.
Both sides accuse each other of war crimes, of atrocities, of not caring about civilians while continuing to fire off their weaponry as fast as they can.
Of course CNN and all other news agency sources, trot out a never ending stream of talking heads who are ostensibly representing all sides of the conflict and who present their version of what is happening as absolute fact while using considerable air-time to tell the talking heads who dare to challenge them that, “You are wrong; that’s not true; that’s not what happened.”
And they present their versions of the truth with all the conviction of one who is in the know.
We witness similar results throughout the world as we watch people take to the streets of their cities to show support for one side or the other.
Mostly their signs and placards level blame at their opponents while they hurl insults at each other across the street.
There’s no question this is a highly emotionally charged issue and we are all moved by the images of death and destruction that steadily stream across our TV’s, laptops, tablets and phones.
It is equally horrifying to witness injured and dying children regardless of which side of the street they died on.
I’m sure most of us would agree these repeated battles that seem to occur every few years are senseless and the growing hatred that drives these events can only result in more of the same in the coming years.
Surely there is a better way.
It is easy to assign blame to one side or the other simply by examining your own views on this matter, however there must be a better way that can result in a long-term peaceful solution that is more effective than the ongoing efforts by both sides to attempt to sway public opinion in their favor while they continue to rain missiles down on their opponents.
I wish I had the solution to this Middle East nightmare but unlike those TV talking-heads, I don’t.
The brightest minds on our planet have repeatedly failed to resolve this conflict and I believe future attempts at resolution will also fail until such time as certain indisputable truths sink in to the heads of the leaders of the warring sides.
Truth # 1. They aren’t going anywhere.
Israelis are not going to pack up and leave. Nor are the Palestinians or anyone else.
Truth # 2. Nobody wins these battles.
While all sides always claim victory, the toll of corpses, wrecked families and destruction proves the price of victory cannot come close to the cost of despair.
Truth # 3. Our similarities are far greater than our differences.
We all want the same thing; to achieve happiness in our lives. If leaders could adopt that as a shared goal and therefore focus on the future without needing to right all the (real or perceived) wrongs of the past, then the possibility of lasting, peaceful and productive co-existence can become real.
A recent news story that told of the life of a Palestinian being saved by the infusion of blood from an Israeli donor reminds us those things that unite us as members of the human race far surpass those religious and other differences that divide us.
Truth # 4. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
People united are happier, healthier and more productive than people divided.
As long as there are extremist groups on all sides of this conflict the only truth that will prevail is that from the movie, “A few good men.”
“You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth.”
Sadly, that is the truth.
Till we read again.