Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Talking about Israel makes you stupid

Okay, I accept that an end to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians won’t solve all the problems of the Middle East, much less the rest of the world, but we do desperately need a solution, and here’s why: it makes people stupid!

Talking about Israel makes a lot of people stupid, and the more they talk about it the stupider they get. We risk a large proportion of the world’s population being reduced to gibbering idiots if something isn’t done soon.

Take this latest example, this outpouring of numbskullness over a mobile phone ad. Read the comments! No, stop reading the comments. For crying out loud, stop! And don’t add to the comments. Please.

It’s an Israeli TV ad. It features the security wall. An Israeli army patrol. A football comes over the wall, and hits their vehicle. They scatter, ready for trouble. But it’s just a football. They kick it back over the wall. An unseen person over the wall kicks it back again to the soldiers. To and fro. Happy laughter and cheers. What does it mean?

If you’re someone who has been adversely affected by talking too long about Israel you may see it as a piece of right-wing propaganda in favour of the wall.

If you’re someone who has been paying attention to events in Iran recently, perhaps you may already have processed the idea that human communication via new technology can cross political barriers, can connect populations while bypassing hostile leaders, can increase the chances of peace.

Alright, read just one more comment, over here:
Some have taken offense because you don’t see them [the Palestinians] at all. And in daily life it’s true – we hardly ever “see” WB Palestinians. The enforced segregation, occasioned by security concerns, prevents us from interacting on a regular basis with WB Palestinians. But in this video, the interaction was initiated by the Palestinians on the other side. The Israelis at first reacted with alarm but then the Palestinians kicked the ball back, forcing the Israelis to acknowledge them. The ball flying over the fence wasn’t an accident. It was a challenge! And rather than ignore it and continue with their patrol, the soldiers decided to interact with the other side in a way far more pleasant than what they are used to. So sure the interaction happened with a wall in between them, and they never saw each other but, well, baby steps right? It showed the possibility of non-violent interaction. Yoffi toffi achla bachla!

That hardly constitutes a defense of “right wing” politics. Sheesh.
Oh, and just in case you get the wrong idea on where I’m coming from on this whole stupid thing, anti-Israel stupidity is not the only variety of stupid on this issue, so just keep those stupid comments to yourself.

Related, reading Michael Totten in Armenia, and one linked to earlier, Iranian connectivity.

 . . .

Aaagh, I can feel the stupidity taking hold! Nnnng, I may even be going stupid enough to write more on this later . . .

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