Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Siege of Bethlehem vs. Operation Blue Star

I remember watching a documentary about the Siege of Bethlehem, 2002.

This was when Israeli forces laid siege to the Church of the Nativity were Palestinian Militants were hiding out. There were innocent Palestinians and Christians with the militants also.

The Church of the Nativity is one of the most sacred places in the Christian religion because it marks the location where Jesus was born. It is also a sacred place for Muslims.

The Israeli Forces were under extreme pressure (by the Pope and the international community) not to go into the Church because this could mean that the church being desecrated.

While watching the documentary I remember thinking that the siege had some parallels with Operation Blue Star. This was when Indian forces attacked Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), Amritsar, one of the holiest places in Sikhism because it was being used as a base by Sikh militants

Whatever you think of Operation Blue Star and it's rights and wrongs the fact remains that Harmandir Sahib was desecrated when Indian forces entered it and many innocent people lost their lives during the operation.

The Indian leaders should have shown restraint and respect for the situation and not allowed the army to entered the Harmandir Sahib complex. By showing respect they would have gained the respect of Sikhs all over the world.

I don't know enough about the Middle East situation to hold an informed opinion about the Israeli / Palistinian conflict but in the case of the Church of the Nativity Siege I have to say that the Israeli forces showed restraint in the stuation (admittedly under pressure!!) by not entering the Church.

I just wish the Indian leaders in 1984 could have shown the same respect in similar circumstances.

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