READER LETTER | Sadly, history keeps repeating itself in senseless wars

21 November 2023 - 09:45
An aerial view shows houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in Gaza City.
Image: MOHAMMED SALEM An aerial view shows houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in Gaza City.

A new wave of hatred and distrust is being created in the Middle East that will reverberate through generations. The physical scars may heal overtime but the mental scars will remain with this generation and be carried over to the next generations.

Just like it happened so often before. Who must take the blame and who will take responsibility to rebuild brick-and-mortar structures; broken families and broken communities; and the physical and mental scars left behind in the wake of a brutal war?

People not directly at the receiving end easily dismiss the long-term effect and you often hear heartless remarks like “just get over it”.

How many times must one live through this in one lifetime, either by experience or by observing the pain and suffering of others? It is like rewinding bad movies that we have seen before.I have observed elements and degrees of this in my own country and in other hotspots where I served as a diplomat over decades.

Different actors were involved and different strains of religions and ideologies were at play but those in power employed broadly the same tactics. Only the intensity and the degrees of destruction differed. The burden always falls on the shoulders of the next generations. They are paying for “the sins of the fathers”.

The only dim light ahead is that the new generation is, broadly speaking, less indoctrinated and blind folded and that more women are slowly moving into positions of power.

As mothers they are less inclined tosend their children into battlefields and generally are not as driven by a lust for power. They rank brain power higher than muscle power and generally put a high premium on the kind of world they leave behind for their children.

We need a new generation of leaders: Leaders that see consideration for others not as a weakness, but as a strength. Leaders that care about the kind of world they want to leave behind for future generations.

Dawie Jacobs, Pretoria