- Posted November 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Israel-Gaza conflict: Your stories
THE RIGHT TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE on this big bad planet
I have come to the regretable conclusion that prejudices don't disappear. Rather they become repressed, go underground, and re-surface as something more politically acceptable. Whether they come from good Christians in the south who no longer "discriminate" against African Americans but just "want their country back" (from a black president) or they come from good Christians who no longer hate Jews but simply can't tolerate Israel's behaviour, lets call it what it is - (blinder than ever) Hate!
As a liberal Jew I, like many of my people, am not wild about Netanyahu and don`t necessarily, agree with everything Israel does. Was I troubled by images of Palestinian civilian suffering during the recent Gaza-Israel conflict? Of course I was. Wars are heartbreaking and regrettable.
I must admit, however that my discomfort at the unrelenting coverage of this and other wars engaged in by Israel raises some troubling questions which I feel obliged to examine and convey. While I heard a tremendous amount of discussion about Israel`s disproportionate response to Hamas, what I didn't hear any discussion about was the disproportionate amount of coverage given to wars that Israel engages in versus wars conducted by others (mainly Muslims), generally with far greater barbarity and lack of concern for human life.
The recent Gaza-Israel battle, with its deathtoll which stood at a regrettable 130 or so, was covered 24-7 on cable news channels throughout the world, sparking world-wide condemnation of Israel and spurring shuttle diplomacy at the highest international levels.
The coverage was such that it is overshadowed the more harrowing and disproportionate Muslim on Muslim and Muslim on Christian violence currently happening in Syria, where the death toll now stands at more 40,000 with over 400,000 fleeing the country. All these lives have been lost after just a few months of battle.
In contrast the entire Israeli-Palestinian death toll since 1948, while tragic, is approximately 20,000.
Here are a few more staggering statistics to contemplate in this rather bizarre equation. Current Muslim on Muslim conflicts, (not counting Iraq or Afghanistan) have claimed well over 100,000 lives and are still going strong.
Existing Muslim on Christian conflicts in Sudan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Somalia and other parts of the globe, which we seldom hear about, have killed more than 480,000 people to date.
Muslim verses Hindu conflicts in Kashmir and the Indian sub-continent have slaughtered approximately 93,000 and show no sign of stopping.
Since 1963, 400,000 lives have been lost in Papua New Guinea's Muslim/Christian/Animist conflict.
In Turkey alone, since 1984, Turkish(Muslim)-Kurd hostilities have resulted in well over 45,000 casualties, with some estimates ranging as high as 100,000. These are the same Turks who are currently bemoaning Israel`s Gaza blockade and decrying Israeli agression.
The Muslim-Berber conflict in Morocco and Western Sahara has massacred between 14,000 and 21,000 people. Yet hardly anyone has heard of that one.
(Buddhist on Buddhist violence in Burma (since 1948), Laos (since 1975), Cambodia and Thailand (since 2008) has killed approximately 800,000 people.
You`ll notice that I haven`t even yet mentioned the hundreds of thousands of lives lost as a result of Western (predominantly Christian) intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russian (Christian) intervention in Chechnya, the millions more who have and are still dying as a result of tribal warfare in Africa
When I examine this overall picture of global conflict, I see absolutely no indication of Israel being the common denominator of the world`s problems. Yet, so many Western and Muslim nations (even a number of guilt-ridden Jews) line up to sanctimoniously pile disproportionate blame on the Israelis for heaping so called ``disproportionate`` violence against the poor Palestinians while, at the same time, smugly ignoring the rivers of blood on everyone else`s hands.
People who practice violence against their own citizens, other religions, women and minorities, for no reason other than that they consider them infidels or want to enshrine their own power, have absolutely no business condemning Israel for trying to defend a country roughly the size of Lake Ontario.
Ignoring the brutality of others and turning Israel into the big bad wolf is nothing short of a new brand of scapegoating which, now that traditional anti-semitism has become taboo, disguises Jew hatred by rebranding it as "Anti-Zionism"
If this rather bizarre behaviour were to only emanate only from Muslim countries, it would be understandable. Lets face it, few religions or cultures can escape their venom. However, what I find absolutely horrifying is that so much of it emmanates from the West.
Don`t get me wrong. I`m not saying that Israel or Jews should never be criticized. I`m simply asking for the Christian world to examine the depths of their psyche, take a good honest look at the global picture, then consider why Israelis aren't allowed to be flawed, just like the rest of humanity.
To apply a different standard to Jews is nothing short of blind prejudice. And to confuse the issue by loving Jews while turning the Jewish state into the scapegoat for all of the world's evils may mollify Christian guilt about the holocaust, but it does absolutely nothing to change the ugly facts on the ground today.
Whether it comes from religious fanatics, right wing Southern reactionists, or politically correct left wing anti-zionists, prejudice is prejudice!