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We did not learn our lesson

The Hamas attacks and the vindictive and brutal response of the Israeli army confirm that the spirit of terrorism is echoed by both the Palestinian extremist group and the state of Israel. Both actions must be unequivocally condemned.


  Germán Ayala Osorio*


The media, political and social support for Israel’s reckless reaction also suggests that hundreds of thousands of thousands of Colombians, despite 50 years of internal armed conflict, have not learned the humanitarian lesson that says that before supporting the warriors, what should be done as a civilised people is to focus on the victims produced by the warring sides. The focus should always be on those who suffer, particularly women and children, because at the end of a war everyone becomes a loser, even those who cheer a pyrrhic military victory in the face of the loss of humanity. What good is a medal stained with blood?

In the ideological and political readings that have been made in Colombia of the war between these two forces, attitudes of full support emerge for the vindictive attitude of the State of Israel, legitimised by the “right to defend itself” from Hamas’s vicious attack. Others unconditionally approve of the Palestinian extremist group’s armed incursion.

In other words, in these two views there is no place to think about the civilian victims, women and children kidnapped and the exterminating fire that moved Hamas and Israel at the moment of exercising the “right to attack” the other, for historical reasons that compromise the seriousness of the UN and the Security Council and the intelligence of human beings, a kind of species that long ago turned the planet into a barbaric slaughterhouse.

The image of the Israeli flag projected on the façade of the ‘Movistar Arena’ (sports complex in Bogotá, Colombia) shows the biased reading of history and the regrettable events that today capture the world’s attention. And it is not a question of, in a supposed neutrality, pretending to demand that the same be done with the flag of Palestine, in order to settle differences.

And it is not a question of, in a supposed neutrality, pretending to demand that the same be done with the flag of Palestine, in order to settle differences. No. Both “cloths” symbolise moral degradation and degradation for ethno-territorial and religious reasons.

Even if Hamas is not the “official army” of Palestine, its leaders wave that flag, implying their armed actions are legitimised by the long-suffering Palestinian people, when it is not.

I do not know who gave the order to project the Israeli flag on the façade of the sports complex. It would have been more sensible and intelligent to call for a halt to hostilities and to take the side of the victims left by the Hamas warriors and the Israeli army, warriors who only know how to carry out orders, even if these orders turn them, ultimately, into simple murderers.

I think war is the perfect stage for human stupidity. That is why it will always be with us. Hamas and the Israeli troops have been demonstrating this throughout their long dispute.

Likewise, the Colombian military, paramilitaries and guerrillas, engaged in a fratricidal war that seems to have no end, have shown for 50 years that we are part of the most evil species that has ever landed on this planet. For all these reasons, there is no safe place in the world, nor will there ever be, as long as human beings exist. Once again, Colombians who defend the Hamas group and others the Israeli army have not learned the humanitarian lesson that we must learn from more than 50 years of internal war in our country, to become a people, a society that values the civilian condition above the warmongers and those who, from their perfumed offices, give the orders to attack.

I am convinced, as a civilian myself, that every human being in arms, no matter what cause he or she defends and whose history he or she writes, is either a potential murderer or an accomplished one.

For all the above reasons, cassocks, crucifixes and the military boot must, and for safety’s sake, be confined to abbeys and barracks, in an endless winter.

*Germán Ayala Osorio: Social communicator, journalist and political scientist, author of the blog La otra tribuna.

(Translated by Rene Phelvin – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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