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church:vicars_letters:february2009 [d/m/Y H:M] (current)
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 +====== Two Sides to Any Argument ======
 +**Fr Geoff**\\ ​
 +I think everyone will agree that the recent violence in the Gaza Strip has been quite appalling; I think it also true to say that the overwhelming force used by Israel has resulted in horrendous casualties amongst innocent people. ​  ​However I think it also true to say that Hamas must carry a large proportion of the blame for this, though clearly the Israeli’s are not totally blameless; it does appear that they have used phosphorus weapons; they do seem to have hit innocent civilian targets.
 +It is usual for the press to side with those ranged against Israel, but there have been a few brave journalists who have gone against the tide of public press interest and have spoken up for Israel against Hamas. ​  It was – after all – Hamas who were firing scores of rockets deliberately aimed at civilian targets in Israel before the Israeli’s invaded Gaza.   
 +It has become clear that Hamas used their own people as human shields when the Israeli’s began to fight back.   As I write this article (on 18th Jan) Israel has declared a cease-fire and begun a withdrawal of her forces to be met by a renewed rocket attack, against her undefended civilian towns, by Hamas. ​  
 +Where are the true criminals in this sorry story?
 +If a European country fired rockets at a neighbours civilian towns and then refused all diplomatic opportunities to end the attack, would we be surprised if the defending state retaliated? ​  Of course not.
 +Then why are so many speaking against Israel for defending her citizens in this instance? ​  There are two sides to this story (this long, protracted, and difficult saga) and both sides involve pain and misunderstanding and fear and resentment; but both sides deserve to be heard properly and fairly. ​   Somebody once said words to the effect that it only needs good people to say nothing to allow evil to triumph.
 +I read this prayer in Church today – I think it is a good place for us to start: ​  
 +//Lord, make us instruments of your peace.\\ Where there is hatred, let us
 +sow love;\\ where there is injury, pardon;\\ where there is discord, union;\\ where there is doubt, faith;\\ where there is despair, hope;\\ where there is
 +darkness, light;\\ where there is sadness, joy.\\ Grant that we may not so
 +much seek to be consoled as to console;\\ to be understood as to
 +understand;​\\ to be loved as to love.\\ For it is in giving that we receive;\\ it
 +is in pardoning that we are pardoned;\\ and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.\\ **Amen**.// ​  
church/vicars_letters/february2009.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)