Oh My Philosophy – Debate I

This post is not really a post, it’s more of a continuation to an online debate that occurred between me and a few of my followers on twitter. Namely @AmoonaM @AymanKhateeb @ZMasri @abuyazan & @ysmousa. The argument started when @abuyazan posted this link, showing the Israeli soldiers that were captured during the international water attack on the Mavi Marmara that occurred last week.The news details how the soldiers shed tears and one cried so hard that he pissed his own pants (not evident in the pictures).

[I stress on the international water attack so that everyone else who reads this and wants in on the debate understands that I am totally apposed and totally supportive of the humanitarian flotilla aid to try to break the siege on Gaza. I have been tweeting since day 1 of the tweet and still do till this day. I was there when we successfully made #Flotilla trend and I was there to support the latest vessel, the Rachel Corrie, as well.]

I was personally outraged by the article, not because it showed Israeli soldiers in anguish, but because it glorified what a bunch of activists with sticks and slingshots did to trained commandos. Little do we understand who these people are. To some of us, they are nothing but the enemy. To others, they are Jews, with little concern for what Judaism entails. They’re soldiers, trained specialists, physical human beings with a job: shoot to kill.

I happen to be friends with as many nationalities as I can, always curious to find out what goes on in the world, always curious to hear perceptions from different angles. One perception that has really changed the way I look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is my extensive friendship with Arab 48s. In our country they’re mostly hated, shunned in our country as Israelis and shunned in Israel as Arabs. They’re stuck in the middle, not allowed to travel to Syria or Lebanon, with barely anything more than the fact they stayed while we left our land. Our extensive hang outs with, let me be honest, usually a liter of Vodka, let’s out the truth of all conversations. I learned that being an Israeli means you’re forced to join the army right after high school. You graduate, 18 years of age, thrown into the most brutal of jobs.

Here is where my debate with the tweeps started. I was against the fact of the photos being published with the title they had, because we’re just as biased as they are when they put their news up. What is glorified as the “Piss on your pants you cowardly Jew.” in our newspaper would translate into “Brave soldier horrendously attacked by activists terrorists.” It’s all a game of political media, and we’re too narrow-minded to get that neither our news or their news will solve this problem. They’re barbaric actions of invading our ships were reciprocated by our barbaric news title. I’m not saying we did the same, nor anywhere near the same magnitude, but we’re always a step behind. The very reason we spit on our Arab governments and call them worthless is because we will always behind a step, 2 step, 100 steps behind.

I shall quote myself from the debate, when I said: “We do not choose where we are born: into what nation, religion or time.” The randomness of where I grow up, what religion I uptake and what environment I’m surrounded by is as chaotic as the odds that I might be an Israeli soldier carrying a gun. Who are you to tell me who I am because you grew up a Muslim in a nation where you learned that Palestine belongs to us and not the Jews. Now compare that to what an Israeli boy will learn, starting with King Solomon’s temple and leading to their right to own our land. According to The Torah, the Jews first holy temple was built right under the dome of the rock. Now tell me how I can be a young Jewish boy and not grow up to want to fight for “my country”?

You are patriotic, just as he is. Whether you believe that his opinions are false or not, you cannot expect to throw your idealism at him and have him take the action you want. You cannot expect him to throw arms and not shoot at you. You cannot expect him to not join the army, one of the most beneficial things an Israeli boy can do. He gets whatever job he wants, the best of benefits, and money to feed his family, in return for serving his army. When the shit hits the fan, and he’s standing in front of his “opposition” with an M16, you expect him to throw it and say “No, I won’t kill because it’s wrong?”

That’s just one side of a six-sided dice, the other being options or the lack there of. How do you know what financial conditions these people are in? Do you really believe that all Israelis have money because their government does? How many stories have you heard of soldiers who enlist solely for the purpose of providing money to a family that can’t live properly. Poverty reigns in all nations, not just ours. I will quote myself again from the Twitter debate: “The game of life could have put you there, and you would have to shoot that gun.” If you were to born into a Jewish family, indoctrinated with all the Zionist bureaucracy that we see today and you had the obligation of joining the armed forces, put in a situation of life or death, or let’s say shooting your gun or going to jail, could you really tell me you’d die or go to jail? The majority of you will be outraged right about now and say “I was taught never to kill” and I was taught never to lie but I do, don’t I? I was taught never to cheat, but I did that too. What makes you so special, sitting in the comfort of your own home, in front of a $1,000 laptop? What gives you the right to say that you’d rather die than fight. Let me give you an M16 right now, and tell me what you would do. Let me lock you up in a room with a bunch of angry activists pounding you with 30 pounds of steel bars and tell me what you would do? Would you stand tall and take the hits, or would you bleed and piss your fucking pants?

Do not tell me you know what a 19 year old Israeli soldier feel like when he goes to war, driven by a lunatic, chaotic government such as Israel. Do not tell me you would place down your weapon when you’re having the shit beat out of you. Do not tell me you only feel for martyrs of Palestine, for is not a human life worth anything be it Israeli? I’m tagged for life by my nationality? Or the actions I take be I put into a position that requires I use force? Do not laugh or ridicule those who pissed their pants in the Mavi Maramara, cry for those 19 activists that got shot in the head. Don’t tell me, those are the same soldiers that shot them! No, it’s not my issue and that was not what we were debating. We were debating the political side of things vs. the humanitarian side.

“I am an Israeli soldier, forced to go to war and shoot for a cause that I may or may not support, to feed my family or continue my education or otherwise. I am an Israeli soldier who pissed his pants when I was beat up by angry activists when I attacked their ship. I am an Israeli soldier, but at the end of the day I am a human being.”

You should not ridicule another human life, for you don’t know yourself to know your enemy. You do not know what the terrorist bomber who runs out in the name of Allah and puts on a straight face feels like. The likes of their leaders hide away in a red-carpet office building making their life decisions for them. No soldier enjoys going to war, and that is a fact that you can’t get past. You want to ridicule something, ridicule a picture of Netenyahu carrying a gun and pissing his pants when he gets his ass kicked. The people you ridicule are not the pawns, for in the game of chess they will all be wiped out. It’s checkmate, when you trap the King, not when you kill a pawn. I feel sorry for the crying soldier, maybe not as sorry as my Palestinian or Turkish martyrs, who fought for my cause, but I feel sorry that his luck landed him in a spot for people like you to ridicule.

Those of you who debated me should all change your names from “activists” to “optimists”, for your judgment is clouded by the passion you have for Palestine. I share the same passion, yet I know that our way of thinking will never get us ahead, never solve our problems and never break the siege on Gaza.

Long live the resistance, and bless the souls of those who passed away to fight a humanitarian cause. A humanitarian cause my friends, means everyone who got killed or wounded should be treated as a human being, not a Zionist nor a soldier.

That’s just my two cents, maybe because my (soon to arrive) doctor’s oath I’m going to be reciting will entail:

Preserve the strength of my body and of my soul that they ever be ready to cheerfully help and support rich and poor, good and bad, enemy as well as friend.

Now you may start the debate :).



Filed under Oh my Philosophy, Religion, Saving the world, The fight for Palestine

16 responses to “Oh My Philosophy – Debate I

  1. I would like to say, I totally respect your point of view. The effort you’ve made into showing the humanitarian side of both Israelis and Palestinians is something I very much admire. Indeed no one can place himself in the shoes of anyone else unless he has experience their life in reality. I couldn’t agree more with you dude and loved the ending with the oath, just loved it!

  2. mohammed matter

    u r a big loser

  3. mohammed matter


  4. abu el abed

    What kind of idiots writes this stuff. The people you were debating with are some of the most important activists and they know what they say…you are 7maar !

  5. Baba inta weya, ya betnaqesh ow bitgool ishi mofeed ya ibtel3ab b3eed.

  6. It takes a big man to see the humanity in his enemy. I commend you for that.

    Indeed you have touched on a grey area, and I believe that it is impossibly difficult to give a black and white judgment on this.

    However, I also think you are touching on the “Nuremberg Defense” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defense ) here which established that soldiers are held accountable for crimes against humanity even if they were merely following orders. Actually, Israel constantly calls for the prosecution for any recently discovered ex-Nazi soldier (one was found just a few weeks ago) just on that principle. Ironically, they are wishy-washy on this very same principle when it comes to their own soldiers.

    Killing is a part of war, true enough. But also there is a difference between those who follow international protocols and codes of conduct and kill only on necessity, and those who kill for the fun of it. After all, I doubt that the behavior of soldiers gloating after the Gaza war of 2008/2009 by printing t-shirts with pregnant palestinian women in crosshair captioned “1 shot 2 kills” is justifiable.

    Finally, I totally understand your point that many of us adopt our views on the world mostly due to the randomness of where/what did we happen to be born into. That is why it is crucial to always remain curious and question what is around you.

    With that said … be ready for a shit storm of comments 🙂 God knows i’ve been there 😛

  7. Finally, out of the whole night, I get one reasonable comment with a detailed account of evidence to support it. I know about the Nuremberg Defense and I believe that Israel does not apply it to herself. When you don’t apply a rule to your own people, you don’t teach it in the first place no? So when soldiers go on a killing spree it’s still the governments fault for not prosecuting them. If I steal a cookie and get my wrist slapped for it, I’ll probably think twice about doing it again. If I get court martialed on account of my conduct then I will also be a soldier who follows international law. Hence, I see a gap in the system that allows the dogs to run wild.
    The issue with the printed t-shirts is an example of the “glitch” in every system, the exception. They’re found everywhere.
    Thank you for the wonderful comment 🙂 I highly respect both the pro and counter arguments.

  8. I say bravo to this post, Shadz. I hate what happened with the flotilla, what Israel has done. I have been so heavy-hearted since it happened, it pops through my usual joy on a regular basis.

    I am also having a hard time with the very attitudes and mind-sets that I can’t stand in my right-winger Christian world.

    Apart from the grace of God, all human beings are barely governable. We are all selfish wretches who use religion and nationalism to take from those who have nothing to add to wealth that will never satisfy.

  9. Thank you for your comment 5alto Kinzi, finally someone who understands what this post means.
    Everyone thinks I’m being pro-Israel when all I’m being is pro-mankind.
    Thanks again for taking the time to read :).

  10. Shadz, exactly. If we are not willing to look at our own junk, someone else will point it out and won’t let go until we own it. God most often reveals the hypocrisy of soul and intent through our adversaries.

    The extent of the cruelty and denial of mankind makes me marvel all the more at the mercy of God to provide us a sacrifice to cover sin that never seems to end. Eternal love, sealed at the cross, is Jesus’ gift to a wayward creation. May we receive Him fully, and dispense that grace to others.

  11. Leen

    Great post Shadi.
    Doctors can usually see things that other people can not. I still argue the ‘Treat my enemy’ belief with people and they’d be too stubborn to look at the humanitarian side of it.

    “We do not choose where we are born: into what nation, religion or time.”
    Very little of us are brave enough to stand out, and say ‘No’ to wherever they have been thrown to in life. And go to where they truly belong.
    But we are privileged to be able to make many of our decisions without being forced to.
    And in your case -and whoever thinks the same way you do- privileged to see others’ points of view as well, and empathize with them.
    It would be really amazing if we could all have that paradigm shift and see the world in all its aspects.
    I try to have it as much as I can, but it’s not easy. I guess it comes with maturing and having more experience in life.
    As for people who are calling you Pro-Israeli after reading this post, I think many of them don’t ever see what’s out of the box. It’s sad because that kind of thinking and making assumptions points out that they have never been taught to create their own thoughts and beliefs, but rather believe what they’ve been dictated to believe.

  12. jeffrey /jew4palestine

    where do i start.I agree 100% that its just luck of the draw where you are born .You have no choice abt religion you grow up in a Muslim ,or a Jew Until you break away from ur families belief system,or you don’t.Now my argument to this is there where 3 Australians that boarded that ship,There are not to many hardships in that country the gov takes damn good care of its people Im not sure these 3 men are from a settlement,but lets say they are.They now have a few choices that they can make Would you move to israel an live on what you know is stolen land,and what will be the cost If you stay in a settlement for abt ten years i think you pay nothing for ur home.I myself a native of California can get a free plane ride :birth right” to israel if i like what i see i can move to israel ,but i will hv to join the Idf if i want any benefits.. they will prolly stick me at a checkpoint,and there I can play god,cause i have a gun.I train how to check who might be caring a bomb.I train for these things..Im trained in all of this,but I have a choice the Palestinians dont What do i look like to the Palestinians? A guy with a gun who cant even speak Arabic or hebrew.,but this is my birth right.They knew Idf knew that there where no weapons ,if there where Drones with hellfire would hv struck first. Israeli cry all the time dont you see it in their pictures when one of them gets killed,Of course there is always a camera to show the human side of the idf soldier.showing his compassion. My friend you have empathy and thats a good thing. I dont agree with some of ur points in the debate,but you have every right to feel compassion for anyone you like.I talked to this idf dude ,and he was telling me that he has seen many brutal beating of Palestinians in prison ,and even deaths,as if it was normal without a trace of empathy my heart dropped to my feet .THESE people are not my tribe I hv nothing in common with them,besides being a jew This is the first i heard of the crying and pissing pant, the only thing that comes to my mind is to make IDF seem human and it was put out by the Israeli Keep up the good work

  13. Leen, thanks for your lovely reply :). I’ve got nothing to add, you said it all.

  14. Jeffery, first off, I appreciate your comment, thanks for reading.
    I do not feel “compassion” for any IDF member carrying a gun and playing God, I only feel empathy, that empathy I got from understanding the worth of a human life. Most of us who have lost a family member or a beloved one understand that, but a lot of us still don’t. When I see Palestinian families on TV dying, it’s just an addition to the 62 years of torture and killing that we’ve received, it’s just another sight that we are used to, no crying or pissing pants involved.
    Showing a “cowardly” Israeli soldier pissing his pants does not put us in any higher position than him, it does not give us any power and it does not weaken us. On the news, it will only relay the message that we are Barbarians who got a trained commando to cry and piss his pants. Only we will see the cowardly character that he has shown, the rest of the world will watch in empathy. We don’t have empathy, even when I study medicine here in Jordan or in my neighboring Arab countries, we don’t have empathy. That’s the difference between us and foreign countries, where they have empathy for anyone, be he of whatever race or religion.
    I do agree with the Australian soldiers, but again that’s a personal choice which they had. It does not necessarily mean that everyone has that choice. The “choice” issue we were discussing had to do with the Israelis that live inside Israel, in good or bad homes, and their choice or lack there of to join the IDF.
    Thanks again for your comment :).

  15. Even though the whole thing is old, but I love this post!

    Fighting for a cause doesn’t take away the sanctity of human life. The fact that enemy soldiers ridicule our deaths doesn’t mean we can’t be better. Aren’t we supposed to be better? Don’t we always say we’re better?

    Indeed, you don’t choose what you’re born into.

  16. Yanal

    sara7a I’m speechless, you’ve tickled the thought I’ve been baffled with for ages. If I were an Israeli, would I think the same way as I think now? I don’t know what makes us better than millions of brainwashed people. As how high I think of myself, I am doubtful that If god puts us in Israel we’ll be anymore different than these guys. This does NOT make what they do OK at all.

    After all, it’s our life experiences or even troubles that make up who we are. Or is it the soul that god creates? I like to think of “what decides our nature” as something we can’t even comprehend. That said, I’ll leave this point here.

    How our governments and media keep on having the same one-step behind mentality, I agree 100%. I mean they always look at everything from the most stupid stance.

    I know it’s old bas ignore the people who say “7mar” hadola men fe2et il sha3eb ili bedoo 7areg ili 3indo IQ <70 ili mo fahem 3alaik aslan!

    Extremely awesome highly analytic post man, great job!

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