Burning Flags
By Hussein Nouri
I usually do not allow things to get under my skin. If I am going to be heard successfully by the good people of the world, I need to make sure that I am an objective person with a global mentality when it comes to human affairs. This means I need to point out the good and the bad regardless of whether my brother or a stranger has committed either. 

During the past few days, I stumbled upon comments written by mostly Israeli readers of blogs dealing with Arab/Israeli current affairs. There were people who disagreed with what they were commenting on and they wrote their reactions in a very civil manner. Sadly, the people who commented with shameful statements were more in number. Some insinuated that Arabs tend to be romantic with goats. Some were calling for pushing Arabs off cliffs or into the sea. It's as if these people forget that blogs are seen and read by an international community and that they are not doing their nation a favor with their comments of hate and racism. 

It should be noted at this point that I failed to find a single Israeli woman who had commented with anything less than constructive and civil. Maybe blog sites should place a filter that only allows ladies to comment. 

The thing that bothered me, though, is the reaction of some people in Gaza in regards to Mr. Trump's Jerusalem proclamation. Whatever happened to marching with political signs? Why do people find it okay to burn flags? 

A flag is probably one of the two most important symbols for people; it is right there next to their national anthem. A flag doesn't really represent the politicians who generally sell and buy patriotism for their own benefit. The flag is the pride of men, women, and children of a nation. I don't recall seeing a politician dying for a flag; I have seen, however, brave soldiers of every race and color dying to keep their flag flying up high on a battlefield. 

Burning someone's national flag is one of those idiotic acts that cause the arsonist's argument to be disregarded; how can anyone take what you say seriously when you intentionally offend the nationality of a whole population? 

Mr. Netanyahu lobbied industriously to get Jerusalem to become officially recognized as the capital. Some Israelis voiced out their opinions that the step was either not appropriate for this time or that doing something that would kill the last chance of saving the Oslo accord was undesirable. 
Burning the Israeli flag has weakened those moderate Israeli's argument and has probably offended their national pride to a point where they've lost any empathy they might have had for the Palestinian point of view. 

Mr. Trump's narcissistic compulsion to prove himself better than his predecessors in this issue (among others) has created a rhetoric campaign against his decision in Europe and in the US. 
Burning the US flag does not sit well with the people whose political positions come in favor of the Palestinian demands.  Why should they care anymore for people who act like hooligans? 

Time and again, we see the general Palestinian population suffering for the actions of irresponsible angry mobs. What they need to do is to put in place a government that would jail hooligans and hold people like flag arsonists responsible for their destructive actions. 

There's a common global misconception of the word "Jihad". It has become wrongly synonymous with terrorism when it actually means what every person on earth does. It means striving. Everyone strives to learn and live gracefully. Everyone strives to have good neighbors. A single mother would be doing Jihad when she keeps a full-time job while taking good care of her child. Mr. Netanyahu did some serious Jihad to get the US to recognize Jerusalem as an Israeli capital. 

It's time we see the Palestinians practice Jihad in the correct meaning of the word. They need to shake off the social human elements that are burdening their cause. They need to change the representatives that are allowing those social elements to hijack their public image. 

If you don't agree with PM Netanyahu, please by all means, practice your basic democratic rights and march with signs, write blogs, get media attention, or even cuss at the man. Just don't antagonize a whole population by burning their flag. 

Same with President Trump. Keep the US flag out of it; although, it is becoming more and more apparent that he did what he did in hope of sparking a new huge regional war that would ensure the sale of American surplus weapon stocks in which he is a stakeholder. Rememberthe US flag also represents all the immigrants we sent there. If you should, campaign against him and not against his people. 

If you burn my flag, it would mean you are burning what my father and son hold as identity. You would lose all cookie points with me. 

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