Friday, July 21, 2006

Almost Beside the Point

The issue of “disproportion” re Israel/Lebanon is almost beside the point.

15 Israeli civilians are already dead. According to Lebanese Health Ministry figures cited in Ha’aretz, the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon is 342 as of the latest count.

To put this horrifying tragedy (for Israel and Lebanon) into a proportion-wise perspective, the respective populations of Israel and Lebanon are roughly 6.3 and 3.8 million.

If we reversed the guns, this is the picture (again, keeping the proportions) that emerges: 9 Lebanese civilian dead, 567 Israeli civilian dead. Every life is of equal worth; a Lebanese civilian is of the same moral weight as an Israeli civilian. I shouldn’t have to say that.

For the U.S., the picture is wickedly frightening, lest we not pay attention to the events as they unfold: 720 dead (if we take the place of Israel) or 27,000 (if we take Lebanon’s place).

[The latter number is, then, about equivalent to nine September 11ths.]

I continue to pray for the people of Israel and Lebanon, hoping that the bloodshed will end, that the forces of extremism and the blinded, hating souls it holds hostage will be defeated forever.

No comments: