Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I'm pissed. There are just alot of things out there that are really making me mad lately. It could be that now that my kids are gone for the summer, I have an empty house and few responsibilities or it could be that some dumb stuff is circulating out there.
Let's start with something fairly innocuous. Feel good commercials all over facebook. Listen up, people. Yes, they speak truths but they are manipulative and honestly, they are commercials. They are selling products at the expense of our emotions and our hopes. I saw the #likeaigirl video and was disappointed that at the end there was an ad for always. I just saw the one where the woman with vertiligio removes her makeup only to lo and behold be followed by dermablend professional. And that was on upworthy! It's an infomercial essentially. Its not a socially minded person trying to make a statement. It's a product trying to make you feel good so when you go to the store, you will remember that feeling and buy their product. Like walking into a house that is for sale with a chocolate chip cookie smell only to realize its coming from a candle. And let's not forget that video, like statistics can be manipulated, just ask any reality show.
While we are speaking of being manipulative, let's talk abut the tragedy that has unfolded recently here in Israel. Now, I'm going to say something some people aren't going to like and was about to write a justification for myself by saying that of course, it's tragic, of course I have a pit in my stomach, of course I can too easily imagine a picture of one of my own children. But I'm not going to do that because the truth is unless you are seriously emotionally wounded, you can't help but react in all of those ways.
The truth has come out fairly clearly that the Israeli security establishment and most likely the government knew these boys were dead within the first few days. See here. But yet, they didn't tell the families this. They allowed these families to travel the world and elicit sympathy for their own purposes. These families and these boys deserve more. These are children not political pawns, which by the way was the original aim of the kidnappers themselves until things went awry. They kidnapped them in order to be able to demand the release of jailed Palestinian prisoners.
I sat and watched the funerals at work and/or listened while I was doing other things. One word I heard over and over - achdut or togetherness and koach or strength. I'm not so sure I believe in the achdut because these boys weren't even buried before the political games started and the disagreements which basically boil down to the antithesis of togetherness in Israel - the settlements. Build more, build less. Talk, don't talk. Destroy Hamas, don't destroy Hamas. It's a whirlwind bound to make you sick and makes you forget honestly the most important thing here. 3 families lost a son each. A child buried by his parents, his grandparents and his siblings.
Which is my next point. I feel sorry for these families because I don't want them to be strong for me or for Israel. I want those mothers to be able to weep without feeling they are betraying their nation. As I said in my facebook status this afternoon, most of us don't feel their pain, don't know what its like and their passing won't in any significant way change our lives. We can't truly accompany them on this journey. They've now joined the families before them who have buried a child because of the violence of hatred in this region. The families everywhere; Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, the list is senseless and endless.
Which leads me to the end of my Facebook status and that is what's next. What's next is that Israeli citizens should say to their government - enough. Do something brave. Have the courage to make peace for my children and yours. Start small even, make hitchhiking illegal - under 18 parents pay a hefty fine, over 18, the kids are on their own. If you are going to run a school or a yeshiva in disputed territory then you are responsible for these kids. Are their lives not worth the price of a bus to bring them safely to a central pickup point? Don't be blind and naive, lives are depending on you.
So we're left pissed off with a sense of helplessness and dismay. The unjustices of this world will not be righted by conglomerates or by government. They will be righted by the anger of parents who just want their children to live and be happy.
Stay tuned for Part II - I'm still mad as hell