On Humanity, Empathy, Compassion and all those little Details that got lost on the Way to Statehood.
Politicians, members of the Parliament, inciting the population against other members of the same society, demanding the deportation of the latter, calling them diseases, animal names in public speeches, blaming them for the ills of the society. A helpful press and media reporting the misdeeds of the same group of 'outcasts' fired upon by politicians, for weeks on end, spread out in big bold letters on the front page of popular news sites, while barely writing a few lines if and when at all, when those same misdeeds are committed by accepted members of this society we all share, well hidden amongst a plenty of other articles. Sickening comparisons clamoured publicly by politicians and cited ad nauseam by the press to describe the weaker group, fitted all too easily in the common language, making it mainstream and thereby absolving its users from any ill feeling when using those terms, worse, making them feel righteous in their ways. Comparisons that let its users surf easily between scatology, entomology and zoology until they are gratified and allowed to use the highest level of this sick game, necrology.
I know! It rings a bell, doesn't it? As a matter of fact it makes all the bells in those churches that are still standing shake! It is just so familiar.
One of our greatest mottos (and we have quite a few here, the least likeable has always been "we are light to the heathen" or אנחנו אור לגועים , especially sickening in "light" of recent events) in the last 64 years has been the "never forget" motto. Never forget, because the "forgive part has always been accessory and depending on market fluctuations.
So what happened here? How did we forget anyway? Back then, and until today, we knew that all the ills we were being accused of were pure inventions. We were not dirty (as far as living conditions in ghettos that lacked running water and electricity permitted of course), we were not thieves (we never stole as much as was stolen from us anyway), we did not kill (not as a group and never unless we were left with no other choice), we did not rape (rarely outside our group anyway), we never killed children to suck their blood or to perform any other rituals that was imparted on us, no! We were not dogs, we were not roaches, we were not vermin, we might have had lice and other ticks due to poor living conditions, but we never, as a group intended to use them as weapons with the intent to harm the populations of our host countries, we did not as a group carry diseases, even if, indeed, some of us, might have been suffering from a sickness or other.
We all know that today. We believe the whole world knows that today. Back then, however, it was not clear to all, and six million souls later it became clear again. Six million lives later we were reinstated as responsible human beings.
So what happened here yesterday? What happened? Why? Why all this blind hatred towards specific groups of human beings, why the same name calling, the petty racism, why the utter lack of respect for fellow humans, why the violence, both oral and physical? Why? Why the ignorance? Why is the government spending money on educating people, teaching them how to read and write if the said people will not read anything beyond the captions under the photoshopped pictures and the headlines in the government owned media industry, why the teaching if they will not write anything but what is in line with the government's propaganda? Why the spending if anyway none of them will never use those skills to further educate themselves?
In the coming weeks, I will follow up this article with a series of short and concise articles that are crucially missing in the mainstream media today: Information about those people that are not deemed humans. Be assured that the majority of those calling for blood would not be able to situate any country on the map, let alone say what the capital cities of those countries are, not to mention anything about their cultures and the reason they have come here in the first place. I have entitled them "Sudan and Eritrea for dummies". They will include short histories of both countries, from different angles and points of view, not necessarily from our comfort zones but will include the zillion other zones we never dare cross the border to. The articles will include features about the cultures in which those that some call animals were brought up with, in the hope of giving them their rightful place in the society of human beings we all belong to.
Why bother doing it, why bother writing all that? Because I am a mother and as such I owe it to my children to debunk the lies, the stereotypes, the hatred, the sponsored violence. Because I do not want them to suffer the guilt and shame of my actions for the next 60 years and six million individuals too late. Because it is too easy to forget and because, today I can no longer shut up and today I have to go back to that period because it cannot have been all in vain - even if since Netanyahu's abuse of ducks and the 40's related comparisons, I admit I am a bit loathe to use the latter myself. It should at the very least have taught us something, it ought to be used in a positive and constructive way in order to ensure a better future, as opposed to it being tossed down people's throats to enhance their fears and hatred of the other.
As parents or as future parents, we do carry a responsibility to future generations. I do not intend to run from mine. It may already be too late for many, but the way I see it, and if the saying "He who saves a life saves the world", in my case, I will save two lives, if I only manage to educate my children and make them understand in their deepest souls how loathful it is to treat a fellow human being as a lesser being or worse a non-being, if I only manage to instill in their brains that all cultures are equal and equally interesting that none is higher than an other, if I only manage to implant in their hearts that there is no one reason to fear the "Other", but rather, many reasons to embrace those difference and grow from them. If I manage that, then, I will know that I have succeeded in my mission and that my life will not have been led in a vain pursuit of more from nothing while the world around me is crumbling.
|the Basta 24-05-2012|