True colours

15 Jul

There is this image that just won’t let me go this week. A picture of a group of Israelis on plastic chairs, cheering for each bomb that hits its target. Like they’re watchting the World Cup Final. It gives me the chills. In the mean time, the UN announces that one third of all civilian victims of the recent violence in Gaza are children. But speaking out against that apparently means taking sides. Because even though the Middle East is a couple of thousand kilometers away, everyone seems to be claiming and framing the conflict for their own politcal ends.

The Dutch Jihadi’s with their ISIS-flags, Geert Wilders responding with questions in parliament. And Twitter is exploding, too. Demonstrating against Israel? Then you must be a terrorist and an anti-semite. Time to show your true colours, tweets someone.

Yes, during Saturday’s demonstration in The Hague there were Allahu Akbar chants. A shame, because I don’t think God has anything to do with all of this. Yes, there were swastika’s and ISIS flags. Disgusting and saddening, and quickly removed when the organisers found out. But does that make the whole demonstration illegtimate and does it disqualify all participants as extremists?

When riots break out at a pro-Palestine demonstration in Paris this weekend, some immediately use the word ‘pogrom’. Apparently now it is ok to bring in the Second World War. I feel more and more discouraged.

Time to show your true colours? Ok, here I go. I am against the Israeli bombing of Gaza, as I am against the violence by Hamas. I am against Israeli settlements on the West Bank, I am against that silly wall, I am against ISIS and their so-called ‘caliphate’, I am against Ahmedinejad, I am against Nethanyahu and against swastika’s. In short, I am for peace. Can someone please tell me when they’re demonstrating for that?

3 Responses to “True colours”

  1. William Vananderoye July 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    I l couldn’t agree more with above article. But the problem with a sensible, moderate and grown up viewpoint is that it is by far not “sexy” enough for the mass media. And the overwhelmingly male rulers, always hankering after the splendid spotlights, feel compelled to utter macho language and threats, because otherwise they fear being showed off as weak and undecided. So the result is, quite logically, endless suffering and misery for common people. Will it ever end? Yes, in a billion years, when our dear old sun implodes. Or maybe it can be earlier: when a worldwide virus wipes out within a second all aggressive testosterone. Seriously, I fear we will never learn.

    • kirstenvandenhul July 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      I share your fear William.. but being the radical optimist that I am, I refuse to stop hoping for a better future. Someone told me today that was naive. I said: isn’t war naive, really?

      • William Vananderoye July 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

        Right, naive in the sense that war mongers think that fighting brings lasting peace. Somewhere in the end… It never does, as history shows us, time upon time again. Maybe we just are very slow learners? But despite my rather ironic last remarks, I do believe understanding, empathy, common sense and mutual respect will make a break-through difference towards a more peaceful world. Somewhere in the future it will. We can do more than just hope. The magic formula is: throw bridges of communication over our deep rivers of differences. And for every bombed bridge, we have to build two more. Each of us can start in his or hers own neighbourhood. So I do share your optimism, but without putting forward a due date. Because that would be naive.

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