For whom this bell tolls

No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less…
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.

–John Donne

If someone pinches my bottom on a train, I don’t then turn around and slap the face of every man, woman and child in the carriage.

If two soldiers are kidnapped by criminals, the armed forces concerned should not then turn around and destroy a country, killing anyone who happens to get in the way, ruining its economy for future years, shattering its infrastructure, traumatising a whole generation of children.

It is hard to understand how the people killed can be in the way, seeing as they were exactly where they should be – at home, at work, driving down a road – or in a UN observer post. How many of the dead do you reckon actually had something to do with the kidnapping? 5%? A generous estimate.

The UN deaths were totally accidental, of course. We have the assurances of Israel. Although it is odd that the Israelis didn’t seem to know where the UN post was, and made 21 strikes within 300 m over 6 hours until they hit it. And then ignored requests to stop the bombardment as people tried to rescue those inside. My husband worked for the UN, and this strikes home to me. And if you don’t care about the UN, then consider this: you are the UN. That’s right – in one sense there is no such entity as the UN – it is a union of every nation. Yours too. And the people who work for the UN come from your country as well, no matter who you are. This was an attack on you. The people who died were representing you.

Jane Holl Lute, a deputy head of U.N. peacekeeping operations, told the Security Council there was no Hizbollah firing coming from near the UN outpost.

The next 9/11 or train bombing could be orchestrated by someone incensed by the loss of a family member in the hell that is now Lebanon. Remember that before you applaud what has happened.

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


For whom this bell tolls — 4 Comments

  1. yes, very well said. it hurts so much to see the innocent get killed and injured, and not even a corridor of safety corridor for the lebanese to escape the bombings

    i’ve lost much of my sympathy for israel now

  2. It’s an unnecessary and unforgiveable act on the ‘umpire’and doesn’t bode well for the future. It’s getting harder to imagine what people there are feeling and experiencing as well as any positive way forward.
    Kylie Seluka

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