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The Silent Human Conscience

What should I tell my daughter when bombs fall and the great nations say nothing?

The following article is part of our ongoing effort to provide a variety of Christian perspectives on the Israel-Lebanon conflict.

How should I respond to my seven-year-old daughter when she is terrified by the news and images of destruction in my country? The bombing of bridges we recently traveled upon, the demolition of our only airport, where my daughter was happily running around just a few weeks ago. What should I say to her when a house was destroyed and 11 people in it killed in one air strike? What should I say to her when a two-year-old child was literally cut in half in a vicious air strike?

I was overwhelmingly silent! But I had to say something to my anxious daughter. I told her not to worry much, that the attacks will only last for a matter of days. As I talked to her, I was thinking of the upcoming meeting of U.N. Security Council. I was so optimistic that the council would put an end to this unequal and disproportionate conflict. I thought of the great nations that are members of the council, with their rich cultural heritages of human achievement and concern for humanity.

So I was completely shocked, greatly saddened, and disappointed when the Council took no stand! Not even a symbolic resolution to condemn the killing of innocents in Lebanon was contemplated. We were told that the council needed days to think the matter over! I wonder what kind of thinking is required when a power station is destroyed, when a civilian car is bombed on its way to a safe place, and when terrified infants and children cry all night as they listen to the bombing of the neighborhood. I wonder whether these members have experienced conflict in tragedies in the Balkans, Sudan, Rwanda, and elsewhere.

I am not much interested in politics, ...

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