Welcome back everyone. Hope all is well. Well, at least on a personal level.
It seems like not much else is well in the world. People are dying and fighting and arguing. Protests and counter protests, fueled by hate and anger. Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong, and everyone’s to blame and to pay the price.
To be honest with you folks, it’s getting rather tiresome, don’t you think? Hate, that is.
We see a bunch of celebrities tweet and post their opinion about the fighting in Gaza (though we don’t see them chime in on the massacres in Syria, Iraq, Sudan and other places around the globe). Some go to great lengths to explain why they’re on this side or the other.
The websphere has been divided into three main groups:
The “Pro-Israelis“, The “Pro-Palestinians” and the “people who don’t really care“.
These first two groups launch endless arguments about “Who’s right”. And the arguments vary in terms of length, depth and volume of hate and racism. Photos of varying degree of reliability are smeared on Facebook, Videos of Israelis-criticizing-Israel and Palestinians-criticizing-Hamas are posted as the absolute proof of “this side” or “the other”‘s righteousness.
This has been amplified with the recent feud between the outspoken Russel Brand and Sean Hannity (Both of whom I like, for their tenacity, both of whom I disagree with, for pretty much the same reason).
I have yet to see anyone convinced that one was wrong, as a result of these endless spats.
Which leads me to my point.
I’m participating in the Peace Factory initiative (again – I encourage everyone to join us), and one of the things we agree on there is that there is no “other side”. We simply refuse to see each other as enemies. Why should we? What’s to be gained? And by who?
After spending some time with us, one might ask oneself a few questions. For example:
Is it OK to care for casualties regardless of their nationality?
Is it OK to want your family and friends to be safe, while wanting the same for people on the other side of the border?
Is it OK to wonder and question the effectiveness of violence as a solution for violence?
Can we view each others as individuals, regardless of the flag flying over our heads?
Can we avoid vilifying each other?
And if the answers to all of the above is “Yes”, then how do we do that?
Well, for one – one can stop participating in the “Pro-Israel/Palestinian” propaganda.
One can be “Pro-Peace” instead. This “title change” is not cosmetic though, be warned. It means that we’re not out there to show how the Palestinians are the root of all evil. We’re not there to show how Israel is the root of all evil. We’re out there to make a connection. To make friends. To communicate.
Because we can either spend our time arguing, trying to prove each other wrong.
Or, we can spend our time trying to build as many bridges as possible between the people.
It’s as simple as that – you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.
The problem these days, as I see it, is that in the heat of conflict, hate dominates the “discussion”. It’s not a discussion at all. It’s fuel for more conflict. It’s firewood for the furnace we’re all stuck in for a very long time. It’s just another turn in the cycle of violence.
If you’d like to help break this cycle, you can do many things:
Join the Peace Factory (See at the bottom of this post).
Listen to some of the interviews, presentations by some of our organizers (See at the bottom of this post).
Resist the urge to argue and fight. In war – e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e loses, so really… what for?
Remember – we want peace. The politicians may have their interests in mind, but our interests are to live and let live.
FREE YOUR MIND – The media is telling you only what their agenda makers tell them to. It’s always nice to read the paper that echos your point of view. But are you getting any real value from it?
REFUSE to see others as enemies – Talk about media – do not buy the propaganda. “Israel” is made of millions of people with many different opinions (Know that joke about every argument between two Jews involves 10 different opinions? It comes from somewhere 🙂 ). They are not all Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinian population is not all Hamas. In fact, even Hamas is not one homogenized group. People are people…
Do not support the vilification of a nation. Since we don’t buy the propaganda, we know that “Israel” is not evil. We know “Palestine” is not evil. Be part of peace making, not the extension of the cycle of violence.
Go out and make some friends! You just might be surprised how it can change your perspective.