A more peaceful world

Dear Editor:

My wife Margie and I drove to Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, October 17th, to attend a conference hosted by World Mission Initiative, at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The conference was entitled “Struggle for a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel.” We heard a riveting presentation by Dr. Mads Gilbert, Medical Director of the Clinic of Emergency Medicine at University Hospital of North Norway. Over the past 15 years he has been volunteering, when available, in Gaza, occupied Palestine. His presentation focused on his experiences in the operating room at Al-Shifa Hospital during the July, 2014 Israeli assault on the densely populated Palestinian neighborhoods in Gaza. It was a horrific experience. Several hospitals and ambulances were bombed by the Israeli army, killing 23 health workers and wounding 83. Dr. Gilberts’ work was all the more difficult because Gaza has been under a blockade since 2007, so only a limited amount of medicine and equipment is available. The assault left 1,492 Palestinian civilians dead, 551 of whom were children. This was the fourth assault on the people of Gaza since 2006. Dr. Gilbert stated that, “For reasons impossible to fathom, the state of Israel seems to enjoy complete immunity in the face of the international legal system and humanitarian law.”

Dr Gilbert’s talk convinced Margie and I that we are all needed in the struggle to make a more peaceful world. We are happy to dialogue with anyone who takes the call to peacemaking seriously. One by one we can make a difference. We can overcome what Pope Francis refers to as “the globalization of indifference.” Palestinian lives matter. Israeli lives matter. All lives matter.

Neil Himber