When All Hope Vanishes

One Woman
Ruth
Ruth Gadebush

When all hope vanishes, desperation and despair set in. That is the seed for an organization like Hamas. With all good intentions of atoning for its failure to protect the Jews from the Nazis in World War II, the victorious West gave little thought as to how that seed would develop. Today, we reap the product. Furthermore, it was done basically in the name of religion!

Cloaked in the righteousness of religion, we have an untenable situation in the Mideast today from that seed sowed in 1948. There is no peace in the region.

There is only more chaos sustained by bigger and better weapons to say nothing of deeper hate and determination. And it belongs to us, the West, including the United States, which is now busily backtracking for our own sins of earlier disregard for the rights of humankind as we practiced slavery of one group and seized the land of another. It would seem we are slow learners.

We simply announced that our religion said that Israel was the homeland of the Jews and therefore those occupying the land in 1948 must move on. They, in turn, said an emphatic no: Our religion decrees it is our homeland. Where do you expect us to go? Our haughty answer was that perhaps their Arab neighbors would offer them sanctuary.

Three-quarters of a century later the language has hardly changed with arguably even more vitriol. After all, who can argue with religion?

Perhaps even more sad is that these two groups share the same roots. Alas, as humankind seems to find it so easy to do, they took different paths to fulfilling their need of worship with little to no margin for reaching the same goal from a different perspective.

Then, too, the surrounding countries, while hardly showing love to each other, were not inclined to make it any easier for  the Western world that was assigning an unwanted role to them in a territory where we had no rightful claim, at least not from their standpoint.

Now we, an ocean apart, wonder why they can’t just draw a few lines and set up separate governments. Alas, if it was ever that simple the atrocities committed by a few with all paying the price always seem to demand revenge—first from one side, then another assuring a no end situation.

At this time, the situation is far beyond the usual weapons of war with an entire area being told to do the impossible. With no place else to go they move from one place to another only to find the direct sanctuary to be on the list for annihilation.

Where is there hope? It is not to excuse the behavior that it is in human nature to do anything to survive. There is nothing left when there is no hope for a better day some way, somehow.

Atrocities beyond imagination are perpetrated because there is nothing left. Ridiculous as it seems, there are even rules of war intended to make wars sound nicer, less daunting and more acceptable, such as protecting the innocent women and children and providing the basic human needs of food, water and sanitation, among others.

First, Hamas, deprived of any hope whatsoever, used the situation to its own benefit, and now the “other side,” our side, is equally guilty.

Actually, we should have no side. This nation founded on rights for all is hardly living up to our own principles when we accept different tactics for the same conditions. Oh, what we wrought when we meddled in “the Holy Land’” for our own mistakes attempting to make right without adequate consideration for those already living there. Where, how can we find hope for all in this ongoing massive inhumanity?

We fail at our own peril.

Author

  • Ruth Gadebusch

    Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, was recently recognized by the League of Women Voters with its Lipton Award for volunteer work in various community endeavors. She was elected four times to the Fresno Unified School District Board, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education.

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