July 14, 2014 – July 20, 2014
While the week before ended with jubilant triumph of the German football team, the week gone by was full of tragic news from across the globe. However, I will only explore the two most prominent.
The first major tragic news was that of the decades old struggle between Israel and Palestine once again escalating into a major strife. The strife picked up when a Palestinian group, Hamas, fired series of rockets on cities of Israel and posing danger to lives of its citizens. Most of the world’s popular media is quite unambiguous on labelling Israel as the force of evil, a “terrorist” state that feeds on death of “civilians”. I see people on social media asking such diabolical question as: Whom do you support between Israel and Palestine? For sake of sanity, this is not an English Premier League football match, it is war, where people are being KILLED. However, the media, both conventional and social, want you to take a side, form an opinion and support it to the hilt. With the abundance of information at disposal, the world is sadly divided into two broad political ideologies that can be identified as Left and Right. Their positions are strict. A Leftist thinker cannot support Israel and a Rightist won’t be Rightist enough if the “support” were to go to Palestine. Such deep divisions exist in areas as broad as climate change, global warming, oil & petroleum, homosexuality etc. The positions are deeply entrenched and the world is starkly divided along these positions.
Now, the question of Israel and Palestine – Whom do I “support”? I read news from that region daily. Dead bodies of men, women and countless children – and then I see how Israel army finds a terrorist den and a weapon cache hidden in or beneath mosques, civilian settlements, schools etc. in Gaza. My support to Hamas or Palestinian groups fighting for “reclamation of land” is, therefore, non-existent. Decades ago, European Jews headed to the region what is now called as Israel-Palestine to have a nation for themselves, around their religious site, and they built a remarkable nation, a nation that grants maximum political freedom to its citizens, highest in that region [in fact, in whole world], a nation that has only successful democracy in that region, a nation that grants maximum economic freedom, a nation that also has space for religious freedom, only one from that region [the evidence for this is that Israel has considerable muslim population, and they provide freedom of religion to its residents], a nation that has considerable amount of anti-Zionist political personalities and who are also present in their parliament, a nation that is among the leading in number of patent application filings, innovation metrics and entrepreneurship. I, therefore, cannot bring myself to “indirectly support” a rogue terror outfit like Hamas, by castigating Israel. Make no mistake that the political lines are so deeply drawn that the battle of perception is lost as soon as I blame Israel for its “atrocities” or for “killing more people than Hamas kills”. Israel seems to have lost that battle in face of hostile media that seems to find virtues in Hamas striking Israel cities with 4-5 rockets per day.
Yet another tragedy that stuck in middle of the week was that of crash of MH17 – a Malaysian jet flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The crash killed 298 people that were onboard. The blame games have started. Russia blames Ukraine. Ukraine blames Russia. The Western press has its target i.e. Putin sorted out too. The jet was flying over region of conflict and was sucked into Ukraine-Russia conflict. When the passenger and crew would have boarded the flight, it must not have appeared, even in their wildest of dreams, that they will never be able to complete the journey. The loss of near and dear ones is tragic. Humans form a magical web of relationships around them and a loss of one results in a deep abyss in that web. Though, the abyss is filled over time and the dead or lost are forgotten.
I do not think I want to write about the “good” part of my personal life while making a mention of above two tragedies. I do wish that Israel and Palestine reach a long lasting peace, and Hamas is not going to enable that. Palestinians must establish itself as a nation, set up institutions of equal ideas as Israel, grant jews equal rights as the muslims are given in Israel, and then only would they make a legitimate case of settlement. Israel cannot have peace with terror outfits like Hamas. No nation can and no nation should. A nation can only have peace with another nation that represents the collective will and conscience of its citizens. If you are saying that Hamas represents that, then….