Am I My Brother�s Keeper?
April 4, 2002

It was nearly 11 years ago around this time of the year when I first recognized the West Bank dilemma. I was severing in the military, stationed in Germany; supporting our forward located forces, which were doing battle in the Middle East (the powers-to-be at the time changed the name to Southwest Asia). One evening while watching reports on TV about SCUD missiles being launched into Israel�s West Bank and Galza Strip, I was dumb-founded to see Palestinians standing on their rooftops, cheering as missiles destroyed their cities? Realization hit, they were not cheering at their homes being destroyed, and they were cheering because their prisons were being destroyed�

These are a desperate people and have reverted to doing desperate things. How else can we explain girls becoming murderous suicide bombers? These malevolence attacks have pushed the Israelis to the brick of all out war. And now out of frustration and desperation, the Israeli army is conducting counter-terrorist operations, sealing off entire cities, going from house-to-house and rounding up all suspected Terrorist. Yet this war is not being fought between opposing armies, it�s being fought by everyday Israeli and Palestinians people. When Civilians fight wars, there are no �Rules of Engagement� or �Geneva Convention� codes to follow or be enforced. It may be a little known fact, but Armies do conduct war by certain rules and when these rules are broken, war crimes are committed and after the conflict, there is a reckoning for the perpetrators of these atrocities.

Will we once again standby and watch innocent Israelis be butchered? Is there another nation that has suffered more? Imagine, more Jews were killed during WWII than there are Jews currently living in Israel� Knowing this frank fact only makes one understand why the Israelis will not let this happen again. Two passionate peoples are fighting at a bloodlust level for what they believe is their right to exist, and we can no longer wait to see if they can peacefully resolve their differences. We must act now before this struggle pulls us all into an �us versus them� conflict.

Are we our brother�s keeper or do we continue to stand aside, hoping everything will work itself out? Didn�t we learn our lesson during WWII or must history repeat itself? It�s time for the �World Leader� to start leading. Let us all hope and pray that the Secretary of State will have a successful trip, getting these warring parties to stop killing and start dialoging. God speed, Collin Powell, god speed…


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