LDN (file photo)

Choose peace over war

I was maybe in high school and I remember watching the Israel-Palestine conflict on TV while my dad watched the news. My mom recalls hearing about the conflict from her childhood. A few decades later and the killing, the death and the conflict has continued.

So many killings, so much death.

It has become so common around newsrooms to write and read and research about death during this pandemic; who knew however, there would be so much more death all around us in the form of wars, in the form of internal conflicts in countries. Over the past two weeks, I kept reading about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and finally the seize fire after 11 harrowing days.

But what shook me the most was when I read a first-person account from my former professor and Israeli journalist Dina Kraft in Los Angeles Times about life, from a bomb shelter. She writes:

“The air raid siren wails in its sudden, ghostly urgency, and in a blur of shoes shoved on and cellphones grabbed, my husband, two children and I hurry down the stairs of our apartment building, joining a trail of neighbors into the communal bomb shelter.

“The kids now know to listen for the booms, they try to keep count — five, then seven. No one is sure exactly what we’re hearing anymore — booms or rockets falling. And how close? Eerie silences between bursts.”

Kraft had moved to Israel with her kids and her kids enjoyed learning about their roots. When she moved however, while aware that she was going into a conflict zone, she probably had never imagined what she or her family and many thousands would go through.

And then, someone posted this on social media last week, “Has anyone Jewish not lost a friend or silently crossed someone off your list of people you can trust in the last week or so?”

What a heartbreaking thought!

Last week, several pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched the streets of Toronto, Montreal and many major cities across the world. And while everyone has a right to protest, these protests sparked antisemitism, leading to more violence and hatred spewed all over the world.

While the reasons for the conflict, the war, the deaths has been around for many decades and however much justified some might find those, in my book, nothing justifies taking another human being’s life. When I say this however, I am aware of those who have fought in wars and I am also aware of the burden they must be carrying but no government should ever allow its citizens to carry such a burden ever.

This conflict, I hope will highlight the need for peace over conflict and life over death.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist


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