The Cycle Of Violence

A reader writes:

I had to respond to the photo of the dead 5 month old Palestinian boy killed in the Israeli rocket attack.  The photo was a gut punch to me.

I am hardly an Arab/Palestinian sympathizer. Indeed, I am a fairly strong supporter of Israel.  But the tragedy of this innocent child's death evoked deep sadness for me.

And I also was forced to recognize that as a father of two children under the age of three, were I that little boy's father I would now be the most avowedly radicalized anti-Israeli fanatic on this planet.  I have no idea what that child's father's politics are;  indeed I recognize that they were probably strongly pro-Hamas even before this tragedy.  However, can anyone begrudge the man his anger and hate now? Can anyone really dispute the right of this child's family to seek retribution against Israel?

Which of course evokes images of blown up Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian bombers.  Can anyone blame their families for demanding swift retribution?

The cycle of violence and killing seems intractable.  I know that forty years ago the same could be said for Northern Ireland, but there seems so little common ground upon which the opposing parties might try to bridge their differences to gain peace.  And with each succeeding year, more little children die or perhaps even more tragically they become vessels of hate and prejudice.

It’s enough to break one's heart.