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 :).