The current turmoil in the Holy Land is much too dangerous to take lightly.
The fear of a new Intifada is now a real possibility as Israelis have raised tensions after soldiers shot dead two Palestinian boys, the youngest aged just eleven, bringing to twenty-three the number of deaths on both sides in recent days. The age of the older boy was given by Palestinian medical authorities in Gaza variously as thirteen or fifteen.
An Israeli army spokesperson said, ‘Two boys were throwing burning tires and stones towards the soldiers.’ She insisted that troops fired warning shots in the air before shooting directly at the main instigators.
There has been a series of protests by Palestinian activists demanding that Israeli Jewish groups be stopped from visiting the compound of the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, the third most revered site in Islam and a trigger-point for previous clashes.
Both Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, have called for calm – but so far to no avail.
If this pointless and tragic situation is to continue it will add to the complex upheaval of the strife in Syria and the rest of the region. People are dying in their thousands and refugees are causing monumental problems to the European Union, who are at a loss to agree a unified strategy to deal with this humanitarian catastrophe that seems to grow and show no signs of abatement.
The UN, now a crippled institution, appears to have lost its effectiveness and is becoming a forum for propagandist tripe and hot air for the major powers of the world. The art of diplomacy is no longer the preferred option as the use of force is still considered the way forward and the sanctity of human life is no longer a major issue.
Peace, which brings no end of prosperity to the warring nations, is cast aside in a world that has failed to recognise the finer things that make life, despite its shortness, a pleasurable gift to be cherished until the day we are called upon to inhabit another sphere, where we are told the soul with its magical purity shall reside for evermore and in total harmony with its environment.
Let us pause for a moment and pray that the killing fields will cease and man will eventually discover that serenity is the elixir he has been looking for all his perishing life.