For three months, the world looked on in horror as genocide took one million lives. As many as 10,000 Tutsis were killed per day. Seventy percent of the Tutsi population was wiped out, and over 10 percent of the total Rwandan population was cut down, many by machete in brutal execution style. Young mothers were made to watch as their children were chopped to death, then their husbands, then they themselves breathed their last breaths in pools of their own children’s blood.
How did it happen? Fear and fanaticism. The people were literally whipped up into a frenzy of hate as, every day, Hutu leaders used radio broadcasts to incite genocide, to broadcast misinformation, and even to identify Tutsi targets and locations so machete-wielding mobs could locate the objects of their hate – their own countryman, their neighbors, the ones the guys on the radio called “cockroaches.”
Thirty years later, we have 24/7 cable news whipping our country into a similar frenzy.
No matter where you come down on the Israel/Palestinian conflict, please do what you can to de-escalate the hate. There are two sides to every conflict, sometimes three (as in this case), and the bottom line is this: Very few of us really know much at all about what’s really going on over there. And most who think they do will at least have to admit that they acquired their vast knowledge of this conflict over the course of the past 30 days … watching TV.
In other words, most of us know only what the people on TV want us to know. And nobody on TV wants to talk to (or about) the most innocent victims of the violence – our brothers and sisters in the Christian Palestinian community. They really do know what’s going on over there, but nobody on TV is interviewing them.
Maybe we can all agree to pray more for them and for all the innocent victims—the collateral damage—and do all in our power to make sure that, this time around, nobody will be dehumanized into “cockroaches” to be slaughtered by a bloodthirsty and mindless mob. Not again, please.
Pray for peace in the Holy Land.
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