"Mom, everyone hates all the Jews now."
What's a mother to say when she hears her daughter make a statement like that? This is 2014 and not 1939. We live in Canada, not Hitler's Germany. But when we drive along a main thoroughfare and see swastikas spray painted on bus shelters, what is a child to think. How is a mother to reply?
It's a rare instance where I talk politics. It's not that it's not interesting to me, it's that I don't feel that I know enough about its subtleties to debate intelligently. Unlike a lot of people, I don't like to just regurgitate what I've read. I want to analyze, understand, and then form my own opinion.
Which I'm finding difficult to do. It's hard to know what's real and true anymore when it comes to the war in Gaza. The obvious media bias has done its job. The pot has been stirred and the propaganda spread far and wide. The misinformation regarding this war is astounding. And each time, each side tries to one up the other with new 'damning' proof, it gets worse and worse. (Not to mention folks digging in their heels even when they're wrong.)
And what's even more disturbing is that supposedly educated individuals -- including news journalists -- are just eating it up. It's sad that in order to be newsworthy, they find themselves needing to be Anti-Israel, and consequently Anti-Semitic, often at the expense of the evidence and the truth.
For a prime example, beyond this video or this one, how about the cocked up reporting of this New York Magazine story? Quick to the trigger, the facts in this article were wrong and required a full correction. (Which was useless -- the damage already done, as those gleefully squealing that Israel aggressed on Hamas without reason, probably aren't racing to share the addendum.)
It's sad. Has history not taught us anything? Prejudice does not further society. And just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's true. The blowhards need to check their sources before someone really ignorant believes them and does something that can't be taken back. I know it's en vogue to hate us Jews (I won't be going to France anytime soon), but anti-semitism is so last century.
It pains me to say that the general public is so misinformed that they're jumping on a bandwagon that advocates murder and the obliteration of a people as a solution. I wonder, as I watch the news, why no reporters have taken a beat to question the pro-Palestinian protesters about their STOP THE GENOCIDE platform. (Well, I know why. Because it's good news!) Do these people even know what genocide is? Because I'm pretty sure that "The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group" is Hamas' game, not that of the Israelis.
I wonder whether these poor misinformed souls realize they're demonstrating against the only democratic government in the Middle East. A government that has been on war alert since it's birth, that prays for peace, but that instead fights a terrorist organization whose manifesto includes a promise to obliterate them:
'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.'
I'm still confused how Israel fighting back, notifying the public of rockets flying, or sharing aid and willingly participating in cease fires is genocide. But what do I know? As I said, I'm not educated about politics.
As a Jew I feel sorry for Palestinians. Their plight is awful. They're at the mercy of a government who would see them dead if it would further their cause.
Here's something to think about. You can be PRO Palestine without being ANTI Israel. You can be against this war and not be Anti-Semitic. Try to remember that when you ask Israel to lay down their weapons you're asking them to walk right into a gas chamber. But when you ask Hamas to, you're encouraging them to take steps toward peace.
So unlike others who are so ready, natch excited, to hate, I'm ready to love. I'm ready to ignore the propaganda and murderous intentions. I'm ready to embrace those of other cultures, to co-exist and live together and create a safe world for all of our children.
Is this naïve? Am I the ignorant one? I think so. Because it will never happen. Not while the Hamas Charter includes this passage:
'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.' (Article 7)
It's just that I don't know how as human beings you can decry the government of Israel whilst supporting an organization who puts words like those in writing.
When I read the Hamas Charter I was scared. For my children, for my culture, for my people. For Palestinians. For you. For the whole world.
So, if you need to support anyone, to take a side, choose the one that houses all of the innocent victims of this conflict -- both Israeli and Palestinian. Support an end to war, an end to death. It's time to stop thinking of US and Them an instead of WE. A community that support peace. It's up to all of us to stand together and fight against media bias and organizations that promote hatred of all kinds -- whether it's anti-semitism or another prejudice. It's never going to get any better otherwise.
And while you're wondering if you can do this, join hands and free us all from terrorism, imagine what you would say if it was your child who was falling asleep wondering why an entire country would see her dead.
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