In last week’s post, “Unbelievable: Part One: Relatively Smaller Matters,” I addressed the issue of folks, who present the news in a direct way, while trying to literally profit from other peoples’ losses, and the issue of folks who act as though they could not care less about their neighbors’ plights, ignoring or even causing those difficulties. This week, I want to turn my attention to folks who twist the facts in order to buffet their sense of personal worth, and to irresponsible government officials.
I’m a middle-aged mom trying to live a life centered on spiritual principals. Accordingly, I am less than wowed when allegedly well-intended “friends” excitedly contact me to “congratulate” me on our The Holy Land’s most recent “investment in peace.” Spin doctoring works for music at nightclubs, not for patriots.
I’m no follower of the discothèque scene, no urban girl waiting to get beyond velvet ropes, no wannabe hoping to be singled out for admission to some selective social brouhaha. I don’t serve myself up as one more supplicant to other peoples’ opinions on, or off, any dance floor. To wit, I’m not at all excited about trading my brother and sister’s blood, specifically, or their safety, in general for international kowtowing. I get no excitement from giving up our collective peace of mind, or from backing down in the South, at the Lebanon boarder, and throughout our dear land, in exchange for the variety of amorphic, “altruistic rewards” splashed, only for a mere day or so, across the headlines of venues like The New York Times and Yahoo News.
Consequently, my responses to my less-than-mindful, apparently resource poor (they lack enough time, money or energy to ask a few questions, to do a bit of research, or to think critical about global situations) friends is anything from a blasé “I’m not in favor of the most recent international resolution to our ongoing conflict” to a strident “are you kidding me? Such a decree is poison to Israel’s wellbeing. Surely you mean to say/write that you want me and my dear ones to be out of harm''s way.”
Superstorm Sandy aside, too many folks, who are living in Hutz L’Aretz, sleep better when wearing their eye masks and ear plugs than they do when allowing themselves to be exposed to actual goings on. It’s too bad that feigning to “see no evil and to hear no evil” produces nothing more utilitarian than denial. Woe to contemporary civilization if the day comes when our alleged gatekeepers of freedom, the media, stop selectively reporting and when our politically well-muscled counterparts stop feeding the masses ideas that leave no citizen cognitively challenged.
Note that there were disproportionately few, if any, descriptions, even in blogs, tweets, and others of the available, relatively individualized, means of getting the word out, of the bravery performed by, of the lives lost by, or of limbs risked by Israelis who made insane efforts to insure our enemy’s well-being. Instead, news outlets elected to send dramatic footage of carnage on the other side of the fence. As well, those sources seemed to experience no umbrage when reframing, editing, or otherwise disfiguring, reality. It’s not just movie directors who work to make fantasy seem like verities.
In fact, some of those doctored dramatizations were so unreal as to have taken place in lands geographically removed from the battle in Gaza. Others were “merely” completely staged. Consider the Syrian infighting identified incorrectly as civilian losses due to Israel’s army. Consider the “bloodied casualties” that got up from their prone positions when they thought the cameras had stopped rolling.
If overt distortions of truth are insufficient, we can soothe ourselves with other distractions. Who seeks social accountability when we can stay focused on Thanksgiving, on December holidays, on newly released movies, on fashion finds, and on the like? This season, La La Land is for sale for only a fraction of one’s soul.
That infamous international coterie, that group of politicos that make nations and would-be states retract announcements of cease fires until their delegates arrive for photo ops and those formerly self-described hawkish local chiefs, the ones who lived for decades along select sentiments only to cave under world pressure, teach us that Jewish blood is insignificant, and that Israel is akin to the smart child in the idiots’ classroom, who gets shushed, repeatedly so that the other kids don’t look so bad. Simply, we ceased and desisted, despite our strategic advantage, because power bullies said we had to do so.
Whereas many pundits have argued that money turned those negotiations, that the more dominant countries had to throw fiduciary bones to their military pets, I’m not convinced international relations are so simple. A people that can turn swamps into metropolises, that can teach the world how to farm in wastelands, and that can implement surgical strikes, i.e. that can successfully minimalize collateral damage, in the face of an opponent with no qualms about using children, even infants, as human shields, or about hiding armaments in places of worship, in schools, in hospitals, that is, in locations ordinarily considered too sacrosanct to be involved in matters of war, is not going to be readily swayed by the dollar, the euros or the yen. The fellows that steer this nation are not insipient. A different sort of malodor wafts from current traitorous behavior.
Less that two weeks after the first sirens sounded in Jerusalem, officials tried to turn our attention to other things. It might seem convenient to walk away from Pillar of Cloud/Defense, but it’s not prudent. We are doomed to repeat experiences for which we’ve failed to tether discourse to reality, to grasp integral truths or to invite accuracy home. We pause, but the enemy reloads. There is no answerability.
Our friends, both individuals and nations, privately and via the media, are negligent in wanting us to shrug and to act as if all is well. It’s of no small wonder that life in these parts remains unbelievable.