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peace 2.0

by Ariel Blumenthal

November 17, 2012 | 2:26 pm

Hi fb! Meet Hamas

Hold your fire!! fb has some great suggestions and insights about Gaza, such as:

"...1 thing I have learnt in life is that fighting and war solves nothing. Dialogue, peace and respect have to prevail. SO GET ON WITH IT. Both of you."

"...Peace through people, one by one. All the wars, missiles, targeted executions etc have got us where exactly? Mere pyrrhic victories that sustain the cycle of cycle of hatred, division and violence. It's time we all opened our eyes to a different solution and way forward."


I found myself exaplaining quite a few times in the past 48 why such well-intended posts give me the blues, so eventually I posted this:

"Hi fb! Meet Hamas. Can you please just tell them that war is not the answer and to give peace a chance? Thanks. There's cookies and coffee on the table, I'll wait outside. And in case they're not convinced, please advise how to proceed."

I don’t mean to mock my friends, I really don’t. I love my friends. I’m blessed to be surrounded by creative, smart, worldly people, immersed in the most pluralistic, diverse community on the globe: Los Angeles.

But when it comes to the never ending situation with Israel and its neighbors, ** breaking news! ** The information age did not create a very informed generation - but omg are they new-agey!

Judy (not her real time) asks:

"Would it make any difference if we all (lots of us) took a few days of annual leave and just sat there, like a human shields?"

It’s unclear whether she wants to be a human shield against Hamas’ missiles (that definitely never deterred any Jihadist from launching - quite the oppossite), or perhaps she wants to become a shield in Gaza? Ok. Let’s say Judy mobilizes her friends to do that. And let’s say they force an end to the fighting. Awesome! And than what? SInce Judy and the shields, by this point, would be back home and totally tuned out, I’ll fill her in with what happens next: Hamas proceeds to indiscriminately fire rockets at civilians, unchallenged. That’s it. Where’s the peaceful achievement?

Cause that's how they roll. It’s not like Islamist ideology is only Hamas’ thing. Islamist violence a global hit, marking a path of death in Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Amsterdam, Little-Rock... Place such recklessly violent ideology in a volatile place like Gaza, and what do you get? Precisely what we see now. And it’ll inevitably happen again, as long as Gaza continues to overdose on Hamas’ holy testosterone. Anyone who believes that peace is the only way to justice and prosperity should be concerned with Hamas’ destructive presence, not protect it when it’s challenged.

Saying Give Peace a Chance without digging 2 millimeters deeper to understand how, is condescending, and more importantly - worthless. It can only be said by observers who have no commitment or responsibility towards solving this conflict.

The problem is that for many of the smart people around me the disdain for war - in itself a progressive value I enthusiastically share, had been replaced by a disdain to Israel launching war - an ironic flaw that turns my well intended friends into indirect supporters of anti-peace ideology. So much good intention wasted, It’s tragic.

fb, Israel does not wage war for the love of war. So "Stop loving war" is not a relevant advise - however it is phrased. It's even a tad silly. Rest assured that the “radical” idea of wanting peace has been thought through before you brought it up on fb.


So other than getting some great Instagrams from Gaza, how precisely was Judy productive here? How did she promote peace?

Poor Judy - had she known...

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