Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Gaza - Just My Humble Opinion

I am about to go on one of my rants, so if you are not in the mood for one of these you can carry on with your day and ignore this post. This rant will most likely be the one by which I lose some of you but I feel the need to say something about this particular topic because as you know I feel that silence in the face of injustice is just a sanction on said injustice.

I have been witness to the conflict in Gaza from very early on in my life. Having lived in Colombia I got my news unfiltered in full color gore. My first memory of the conflict was from a news report from the area, the television screen filled with a chaotic scene showing bloodied corpses being dragged away from a bombing site. I was 6 at the time. Which side was it from? I do not recall but I do recall many years of news in similar depiction on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

When I came to live in the US one of the first things I remembered that impacted me was on how pristine the news shows on TV were. There were never any images of bloodied anything on them even when they were about war or terrorist attacks. I remember very distinctly noticing this and thinking to myself how anyone could believe that any of what the news reporters were saying was true when there was no proof of the violence screaming at you in blood. I became accustomed to this antiseptic form of news but never really felt comfortable with it. It felt like a lie in that it was not being completely truthful to the people and in my view felt like it desensitized people even more than showing the bloodied corpses could. In regard to Gaza the news here in the US was vastly one sided in comparison to what I had seen in Colombia. In Colombia the atrocities perpetuated by both sides were clearly shown without offering an opinion but rather presenting the gory facts. In the antiseptic US news shows the Israeli side was almost always depicted as the victimized side. Palestinian tragedies were only brought to light if the devastation was absolutely undeniable. I became distrustful of the news shows and of the lack of integrity of the so called journalists in this country because of this and because of how they depicted any other country that was not the US.

During the time that I lived in the middle east I remember being encountered by the style of news that I had seen in Colombia. The news shows and newspapers here were not afraid of putting gory pictures on the front covers or on screen. They did not shy away from the violence and try to cover it up. They presented it to you in full gory detail. However here there was a slant as well and of course the favored side was the Palestinian. Despite this slant though, a lot of truth of what the Palestinians have been going through was presented more clearly. This in turn gave me a more balanced view of the conflict since I had been hearing so much of the Israeli side already. The depiction of Palestinians who attacked Israeli civilians in suicide bombings on buses came just as clearly as Israeli bombings of elementary schools with children's bodies strewn all over.

I feel badly for the people from both sides of this conflict and angry at the governments and radicals who perpetuate this conflict by misinforming and brain washing their citizens and country men. To me both the governments and radicals are just a bunch of assholes manipulating the situation to their own ends while putting their people in the middle of it, letting them massacre each other like so many sacrificial lambs. To what end? To fight for land? Is that worth the price they are paying? I hate to have to also offer this view but I think the conflict would long have been over if the US did not feel the need to support Israel at every turn. Backing them has only served for the Israeli government to feel like they have the ability to carry on being assholes without having to actually talk with the Palestinians and come to an agreement. Do not misinterpret this statement as meaning that I support violence from the Palestinians. I do not, but I can't help feeling that they would get a fairer chance of getting their share if the US were not involved. Both sides need to stop this tit for tat mentality of perpetuating violence on one another. It is childish and insane. I am also not absolving the people on both sides completely because it falls on you the people to change this. It is time to act responsibly and sensibly. Stop reacting to one another and think for one minute of what you want your life and the lives of your families and friends to be like. You do not have to continue to believe what your leaders are telling you about one another. Step outside of their influence once and for all and become the thinking, sentient beings you were created to be.

Rant over.

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