Certain things stand out despite the inevitable fog of war, including the accompanying lop-sided propaganda war being waged, that a fair-minded and serious person can make out. And that is, it is overwhelmingly the Lebanese people – civilians who are getting killed by the hundreds and wounded by the thousands, with one third of the casualties being children.
BY CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO
The impact on the Philippines of fresh fighting in the Middle East, specially in Lebanon where a full-scale war has erupted between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Hezbollah*, has mainly been felt through the ordeals of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) working in Lebanon and another round of steep increases in fuel prices. Of course, the horrors of war are brought home to us by photos of lifeless bodies of children and entire families being dug out of the rubble of their homes or places of refuge.
But the reasons for the new outbreak in fighting elude most. In fact, a cursory reading of the news gives one the impression that the Palestinian organization Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah started it all – they who are said to have sneakily gone across the border into neighboring Israel to kill and capture Israeli soldiers.
The history and the current issues surrounding the creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab Muslim world, most especially the continuing displacement and inhumane work and living conditions imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel, are hugely complex and complicated further by the overweening presence of the U.S., Israel’s principal backer, and the source of $4 billion in yearly aid and the most sophisticated nuclear and non-nuclear weaponry.
These issues are inadequately ventilated, if not grossly oversimplified or distorted, in mainstream Western media, the filter through which most of us get our piddling dose of the international news that is eventually picked up in the local mass media.
Yet certain things stand out despite the inevitable fog of war, including the accompanying lop-sided propaganda war being waged, that a fair-minded and serious person can make out.
And that is, it is overwhelmingly the Lebanese people – civilians who are getting killed by the hundreds and wounded by the thousands, with one third of the casualties being children. A million more, or one fourth of the population, have been displaced and are in real danger of being pulverized by the precision-guided bombs that the Israeli military has been indiscriminately raining down on them.
In contrast, Israeli casualties have been limited to a few scores and are still mostly soldiers, as the Hezbollah have proven to be no pushovers despite their being largely outgunned, without an air or naval force, their military arm a mere guerilla force face to face with one of the most well-trained and deadly armed forces in the world.