Tag Archives: Middle_East

Lebanon-Israel Conflict: a conversation

Joel directed me to this series of articles regarding the Lebanon-Israel Conflict:

David Gushee’s Original article The first article to be posted
A Lebanese Perspective on the Conflict and a disappointed response to David Gushee
An Open Letter to Martin Accad in response to his article
Further Reflections by Martin Accad

Here is a paragraph from the last one I found extremely intriguing (but not specifically about the conflict in any way):
“And who is my neighbor?” an expert of the law asks in fury, annoyed with Jesus’ message and behavior that frustrates every notion of conventional “righteousness” (Luke 10:29). Jesus embarks on one of his breathtaking stories about a man, a “righteous” man, apparently the hero of the narrative, suddenly transformed into the “enemy,” replaced by a new hero, a Samaritan, an “unrighteous” man. New Testament scholars have pointed out that in this story, the man called to love his enemy is not the Samaritan, but actually the man who lay wounded, stripped of his clothes, half dead. For he, rather than the Samaritan, is the character in the story with whom Jesus’ audience would have been able to identify. By inviting the wounded to accept to be helped by his conventional enemy, Jesus calls every one of us to accept to be helped by God, the “outcast,” whom we have rejected.

Coverage of death in the Middle East

I have BBC news as my homepage on Firefox. It helps keep me aware of what’s happening in the world. Today the frontpage news is the Hajj Stampede. I don’t have much commentary on it specifically. I do know that there have been stampedes like this in the past, and it was never frontpage news, at least it wasn’t before 9/11.
This could be my own bias perception, but I did a quick search on CNN and here’s what I found: Between April 97 and December 99 (3 years) there where 19 stories about the Hajj Pilgrimage in general (searching for ‘Hajj Plgrimage’). In the past year (from Jan 05) there have been 27 new stories and most of them have to do with deaths, crime or weapons of some kind.
I know our interest in the Middle East has increased, but I fear our news coverage of it has leaned more towards the negative and violent coverage. I’m not trying to throw out any government conspiracies, but I worry about how convienent and desensitizing it is to us to hear that those our country seems to dub our “enemies” are killing each other anyways. I worry our negative coverage of Arabs in general is going to make our continued war on “terrorist” easy and cloudy; All Arabs are not terrorist.