Tuesday, November 20, 2012

War, 2012

I am writing this while sitting in my apartment’s solarium. The view from the 27th floor (well, it’s actually the 23rd floor, considering the fact that there are no floors numbered 4, 13, 14 and 24. The number “4”, in Chinese, rhymes with the word “death”) is spectacular. Mostly cloudy; it rained for a very short while, and the sun is now making an appearance somewhere, casting some light over the city.

It looks something like this:


It has been a very rough week. My entire family, and most of my friends, live in Israel. Unless you have been living under a rock over the last week or so (and if you did – I envy you), you are most likely aware of the fact that last week, after 12 years during which rockets have been fired by the Islamo-fascist regime called Hamas (along with its partners, carrying names such as Islamic Jihad and so on) onto towns in southern Israel, the government of Israel decided (finally) that the situation doesn’t make any sense and started Operation Pillar of Cloud.

The entire worldwide attention suddenly shifted around in an amazing pace. As soon as the operation started (by obliterating Hamas’ chief of staff, Ahmed Jabari, who, in 1998, ordered his soldiers to open fire at an Israeli school bus), the 30,000+ casualties in Syria – murdered by Syria’s own administration – didn’t matter anymore; world hunger, other worldwide conflicts, the limping worldwide economy – all of these simply vanished off the radar, and the entire world turned its attention to Israel, the Neighbourhood Bully, who has decided to take on the indescribably-unacceptable act of protecting its own citizens.

One day after the operation started, rockets – fired by Hamas – hit central Israel for the first time (just for providing the unaware reader with some proportions, “central Israel” is located 80km away from Gaza. That’s about 50 miles. Here, this might help).

Even though the governments of Israel over the years have made it a norm for its southern residents to live under rocket fire for 12 years – yes, there’s no typo here; 12 years. That’s how twisted Israeli politics can get – still, a mental barrier shattered to pieces once rockets started hitting Tel-Aviv. That, considering the fact that the current Israeli government is the most right-winged government in Israel’s 64 years of existence.

“Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich”
   - Napoleon Bonaparte

The social media, of course, wasn’t left behind. I have spent hours doing my best to defend Israel’s position in various forums and threads, with very mixed results.

Here is what I have learned:

  • Individuals who base their opinion solely on what they hear in the media are very unlikely to have any sort of perspective. That is true regardless of how developed is the economy where such individuals live; this seems to be some sort of a global truth.
  • It is virtually impossible to have Islamo-fascists (and their supporters) take any sort of responsibility over the repercussions of terrorism acts. That, again, has very little to do with where these people live. As a matter of fact, one of the most twisted-minded individuals I had the misfortune to discuss with happened to be a Canadian, living right across the bridge in North Vancouver.
  • The interpretation people provide to religion – any religion – has always been, and is most likely bound to always be, the number one reason for warfare. This is especially true for monotheistic religions, where “my God is true, yours is garbage” is not an uncommon value.
  • I don’t have enough brainpower to cope, conversationally, with people who lack the sense of personal, and communal, responsibility. Such people I am simply allergic to.

And finally, to my Israeli friends, this one is for you:

There is, unfortunately, very little point in trying to use social media to convince others that you are correct when it comes to Islamo-fascism. Even if there is a point, the methods in which you’re trying to convince others are rather pointless:

  • Those who already understand the dangers of Islamo-fascism don’t require convincing in the first place.
  • Those who already bought into Islamo-fascism, didn’t buy into it based on proper research and independent, critical thinking. They bought into it as a result of being brainwashed – either by mass media, family, friends, you name it – and your arguments are very unlikely to change that.
  • A true Islamo-fascist will never admit any wrongdoings of Islamo-fascist regimes.
  • (This one is important) Those who are undecided, but haven’t yet bought into Islamo-fascism, have already demonstrated their ability to withstand the pressures of mass media and superficial allegations. They aren’t impressed by all sorts of pointless images and tables, showing graphs of rockets being fired by each side. Just as they didn’t buy into graphs, tables and images spread by Islamo-fascism, they aren’t going to react to graphs, tables and images spread by Israel’s supporters.

    That is not the way to do it.

    So how this should be done? Here:
    • Class up. Don’t bring yourselves down to the level of those whose wrongdoings you want highlighted. Control your temper.
    • ALWAYS present facts.
    • DON’T confuse facts with fiction.
    • AVOID, to the greatest extent possible, presenting opinions. This is the key issue here: people who have the ability for critical thinking simply don’t buy into attempts of others to influence their thinking. Present the facts to them, and have them reach the conclusions themselves.
    • Read the last bullet again loudly. Sip, rinse, spit.

It’s 4:40pm now. Starting to get a little dark. The BC Place, located right in front of my apartment, is starting to show some colors:


It’s a pretty sight.

Soon, I will head over to a nearby coffee place and continue working on the music score for something I have been working on, for a while. If it wasn’t for rockets flying over the heads of so many people I care for, I would have said that life is just about perfect at the moment.



Anonymous said...

דיר אייזק,

ביקורת על ישראלים היה ראוי לכתוב בעברית (כמובן מי שממש יתאמץ יוכל לתרגם לעצמו) - זה לא המקום ולא הזמן לבקר בפומבי את אלה שמתנדבים להסברה, שאין לזלזל בערכה.
זה לא הזמן ולא המקום להוציא את הרוח מהמפרשים, אלא להיפך, והיעד של ההסברה הם חברינו האמריקאים והאירופאים שניזונים משקרים.
אתה צודק בכך שהתלהמות ונקיטת עמדה במטרה להשפיע מחטיאות את המטרה, ושעובדות מדברות בעד עצמן. ולכן, התעמולה הטובה ביותר היום ברשת היא זו שמוכיחה את השקרים שרצים בתקשורת
מישהו כבר עשה את עבודת ההוכחה, צריך רק להפיץ את המידע. כשכל כך הרבה שקרים נחשפים נוצרים אצל הקורא הרבה סימני שאלה, ואז הוא מחפש עוד מידע. בשביל זה אנחנו שם. המטרה היא להגדיל את התמיכה העולמית בישראל ובעמדתה.
ואת הנימה המתנשאת... ללגום, לשטוף, לירוק.

Isaac Shabtay said...

אפשר גם איציק.

את/ה טועה ומטעה. ראשית, לא ביקרתי את המתנדבים להסברה אישית, אלא את השיטה שבה הם נוקטים. להיפך: סיפקתי עצות איך להיות אפקטיביים יותר.

ולמה? כי אני מאמין שהשיטה שבה חלקם נוקטים היא לא אפקטיבית. לא יודע מה איתך, אבל אני חי כבר 10 שנים בצפון אמריקה ויש לי נסיון לא מבוטל כיצד לגשת אל הציבור הצפון-אמריקאי באופן אפקטיבי. זו הדרך שלפחות אני מאמין בה. איך הוצאת מזה כוונה רעה - את זה אני לא מבין, אבל לא משנה.

התעמולה שעליה אתה מדבר, שעיקרה היא להוכיח שקרים, היא לגיטימית ושימושית, אך ממה שהספקתי לראות היא מיושמת בצורה חובבנית למדי, אפילו ע"י דובר צה"ל. אפשר להציג עיוותים גם מבלי להיגרר להתלהמות.

בקיצור, להוריד קצת את הטון.

Isaac Shabtay said...

בקשר לעברית - צודק. לצערי הטמפלייט של הבלוג הזה לא מתאים לפרסום בעברית. ניסיתי בעבר, זה לא יצא טוב.

אני אעבוד על זה. בכל מקרה, תודה על הביקורת.

Anonymous said...

בכיף. תזכור שכולנו באותה סירה ויש לנו מטרה משותפת.
מקווה שהחיים שלך באמת דבש,
ד"ש מסיאטל