Violence Begets Violence.

For the last few days we’ve been in Jerusalem to finish up our training before heading back to Jayyus. Today, we began our afternoon by visiting Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum in West Jerusalem. After looking at photos, watching videos, and listening to testimonies of one of the greatest atrocities our world has ever seen, we walked out onto a balcony that gave an incredible view of Israel. A beautiful land for an incredibly persecuted people. We filed back onto our bus and continued on our way. Our next stop was the village of Lifta, a former Palestinian village, the remains of which can also be found in modern day West Jerusalem. The population of Lifta was forced to evacuate during the war in 1948. The war that Palestinians call the “Nakbah” or the catastrophe; that caused the forced displacement of more than 750,000 of their people.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days of how I could respond to the violence that took place in Canada this week. Watching and listening to our Prime Minister’s response to the shootings made me feel sick to my stomach and truly embarrassed to be Canadian.

In the short time I’ve been in this part of the world, many of my thoughts have been quite jumbled. There is a lot going on here that is difficult to make sense out of. That said, there is one sentiment that has emerged with amazing clarity for me on several occasions, including today. That is, that violence begets violence, hatred breeds hatred, and oppression most often leads to further oppression. I hope that Canada can refrain from perpetuating this cycle more than it already has.

This article by Jean Chretien definitely isn’t perfect, and its a little late, but it is worth a read.


2 thoughts on “Violence Begets Violence.

  1. Thanks for your reflection… and the article by Chretien… I’ve gained a new respect for him! Madeleine L’Engle once said “only the absurdity of love can break the bonds of hate.” Simply your presence as an EAPPI is offering an absurd and important difference. Thanks for being there.


  2. Hi, Zoe. Your reflections from Jayyous/Tulkarm on the recent violence here at home is timely. The killings of the soldiers has brought a taste of the kind of violence experienced by millions around the world to Canadians’ front door. A mirror is being held up to us as well, challenging us to reflect on root causes, who we are and who we want to become… Sometimes we like what we see reflected back and we need to develop that image into more of a reality. Often, we don’t. There’s a lot of military talk here in the media – tactics, strategy, outcomes, end game (how the word ‘game’ can be used in the context of any war or conflict boggles the mind!). I fear the propaganda machine is at work already trying to dominate the framing the country’s perspective. Please continue to share with us the voice of those you accompany from a far older, pain-filled context of violence. We need to be reminded that we are not the centre; it is one more tragedy, not the only tragedy.


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