Thursday, October 15, 2015

Violence - at home and abroad

I feel like I’ve been out of the loop for the past few months (I was in England for six weeks and doing family stuff before and after that trip!), and I’m now trying to jump on a merry-go-round that just keeps spinning faster and faster!  My ability to keep current with happenings – be they in the US, Palestine or the UK – was impeded by circumstances beyond my control, and I now am finding it difficult to make sense of what is happening anywhere in the world!
And who is the aggressor here?

The latest mass shooting/gun violence in my home state of Oregon happened when I was in London – prompting the predictable reactions from Brits who, upon noticing my “American” accent, asked what part of the “States” I was from.  They don’t understand gun violence there – it just isn’t an issue – and it’s difficult to explain something that I don’t understand myself!  Why do normal, intelligent people believe that a gun will somehow make them “safer” or – if they really do believe that – why are they so adamantly opposed to registering their lethal weapons and subscribing to protocols so guns don’t get into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them (mentally ill, convicted felons, etc.)?

And yes, violent people are everywhere!  Which brings me to the real point of my anger and sadness.  The feed from the social media that I see is full of the violence in Palestine/Israel.  Some are calling it a “third intifada,” or speculating that a “third intifada” is imminent.  And the reporting from the so-called “mainstream” media is full of “Palestinian terrorists,” highlighting incidents in which Palestinians instigated an “attack” on Israelis, and never mention the precipitating attacks by Israelis on Palestinians.
I think most of us would rather see this...

Those of you reading this do not need to be told that the reporting in the US – and probably in much of the “first world” as well – is biased, and that the “Palestinian side” of the story is receiving short shrift.  Nor do you need a detailed list of incidents of anti-Palestinian violence, starting with the Nakba and extended to the latest shooting/stabbing/beating of a Palestinian man/woman/child this morning.
...than this! 
I’m tired of the barrage of e-mails asking me to sign one more petition, or call one more politician; tired of the Facebook posts with pictures of violence and killing, tired of e-mails from friends on the ground describing the violence!  And tired of avoiding the subject closest to my heart so as to avoid conflict in my own family!

It’s taken me several days to write this post – mostly because I’m not sure what I really want to say!  Am I looking for understanding?  Agreement?  Encouragement?  Or do I just want to get the negative stuff out of my system so I can do the work that I know needs doing?

In closing, I’d like to borrow the “to do” list from the YWCA of Palestine, who describes the current situation in Palestine/Israel as “an endless state of emergency” and suggests five ways we can all help:
· Support Palestinian rights to nonviolent resistance
· Demand that all holy sites be respected and protected
· Use your economic leverage to support the BDS global movement
· Hold Israel accountable for war crimes at the International Criminal Court
· End arms trades and unconditional military and diplomatic aid

No comments:

Post a Comment