Palestinians just endured an exceptionally brutal weekend: In Gaza, the death toll crossed the appalling benchmark of 1,000, overwhelmingly civilians. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers and settlers also killed at least nine Palestinians amid protests against the devastation of Gaza. I recently debunked
Israel’s misleading “human shields” argument attempting to deflect
responsibility for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians; but
more important to expose is the false narrative of how we found
ourselves in this crisis and who is responsible for its perpetuation.
most media outlets, the current crisis began with the kidnapping and
murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. This is, of course, an
arbitrary starting point. Just one day before the kidnappings, a
Palestinian man and a 10-year-old child were killed
in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike. Why wasn’t that the starting point of
the violence? Has the media internalized Israel’s narrative to such an
extent that they only see Israel as “responding” to violence rather than
Israel initially blamed Hamas for the teens’ kidnapping, and “responded” by going on a violent rampage
in the West Bank, invading homes, killing demonstrators, and arresting
hundreds of Palestinians, including 60 Hamas members who had been freed
in an earlier prisoner swap. Imagine the opposite scenario for a moment:
When Israeli troops were caught on tape
killing unarmed Palestinian teens just a few weeks before the
kidnapping of the Israeli teens, imagine if Hamas responded by invading
Israeli homes, shooting Israeli demonstrators and kidnapping hundreds of
Israeli troops. Would media outlets cover such actions with the same
sympathy and understanding afforded to Israel’s actions? - Salon
If you're not there, not in every moment when something significant happens, then how do you answer a questions like that? If you don't know the details - how do you know that what you're reading about is accurate? The same could be asked of every thing that happens in this world in contexts like healthcare, food production and even those moments your child is not in your presence.
When the world you live in is a world that does not honour integrity, honesty or compassion - how can you trust or claim to know anything in which you did not have direct and intimate knowledge? The reality is that you don't know. You cannot know. What is known is that the source of this uncertainty comes from the nature of society - a society which we have created together and that is collectively maintained. Unfortunately we have made quite a mess and most of us are not interested in undertaking the task of cleaning up after ourselves.
Your perception is shaped by what you are exposed to, especially in your youth. If your family holds a certain faith and you attend a school that teaches a certain curriculum, chances are that you will be quite certain that everything that you know about your religion and about the world is true and correct, and that you know everything that you need to know. Unfortunately this is seldom the case and taking the time and making the effort to push your boundaries of awareness and education is not easy, especially in this world where everything and everyone is telling you what to think, believe, wear, vote for, watch, etc everywhere you look. It is often easier to just do what something or someone tells you to do - especially since everyone else is doing it.
And so the culture of obedience and conformity is maintained. There are some who speak up for change, but they often seem to resemble the resistance in The Matrix more closely than they do an actual movement for sustainable and equitable change.
My point? Trust nothing until we all reshape ourselves into people who are deserving of trust so that our society may follow. Don't get distracted by the girl in the red dress - look around you at what is real and relevant in this world, look at what needs to be changed, why and how. Question everything until you find the answer that you can stand by with certainty and clarity.