Monday, July 17, 2006

The cedar and the star
A lament for the Middle East

As she reads this morning of Israel's ground invasion of Lebanon, your blogstress finds her heart sinking ever deeper as the Middle East War intensifies.

One can't help but feel this thing deeply as the names of ancient cities on both sides of the border appear on the role call of towns bombed and attacked by missiles.

Yesterday, your écrivaine flinched as the town of Tyre appeared on the list; this is the place from whence Hiram, the architect and builder of Solomon's temple hailed.

Last night, as she watched the BBC News, your cyberscribe meditated on the graphic that accompanied the report: the flags of Israel and Lebanon, shown side by side. The former, of course, is adorned with the ancient symbol of the Jewish faith, the Star of David. At the center of the latter is a great cedar tree -- the wood used to frame the temple.

I do not argue that Israel has no right to defend itself; of course it does. But accusations of collective punishment do tend to ring true when the infrastructure of a fragile nation is attacked.

Of course, collective punishment is an old biblical theme; who can forget the fate suffered by all the people of Sodom and Gomorra? The difference is that that time, it was Yahweh who was calling the shots.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: