1.21.2009

intifada, globalized


courtesy zombietime.
this photo does not represent my thoughts but instead is meant to illustrate the increasing intensity of messages being fed into public view. it is so important that people not just treat this as another che t-shirt slogan and pay attention to what the implications of a globalized intifada are.

in the past months the united states has peacefully elected the most socially liberal president into office. barack has so far managed to maintain the image of one of the clearest thinking men in power anywhere and one can see this with the variety of people whom he has chose to serve in his cabinet. this, one would think, might reflect the maturing thoughts of a concerned peoples. if only it were that easy. across the states, however, there are contradictions and misgivings. gay marriage rights were voted down in california just after obama had won the elections in 2008.

earlier this month violent anti-war demonstrations broke out across the nation and indeed across the world. we are lucky in the united states to have not suffered from some of these more serious afflictions of belief. but that does not mean that we are less subject to a complete misunderstanding of the situation at hand. from california to florida to new york there are people compelled to replace the star of david with the swastika. it is impossible to separate opinion from this type of discussion, no matter how neutral you want to remain. i hope that, just for the moment, my orientation will be more translucent than usual. i also want to note that i am well aware that the vast majority of people either don't care (a sadness in itself, yet far different than the sort of sadness that over-zealousness often results in) or they don't feel the need to throw bricks through windows. i am perfectly aware that those who express extreme-left or right opinions often earn the spotlight but that doesn't mean that these issues should be disregarded. by dissecting what exactly people on the far left or right are saying it becomes easier to see that neither side fits everybody.

in the united states there has been an increasing amount of demonstration against the war in gaza. some of the more eager events appear pro-hamas. these often turn, however, less into pro-hamas gatherings and more into anti-israel demonstrations calling for, among the more polite suggestions, jewish businesses to be boycotted. there seem to be a great deal of palestinians at these rallies but what's truly frightening is the amount of middle-class white americans present.

feeling that they are making a difference in the world these people show up with little more than the desire to throw a brick through the nearest starbucks' window under the guise of campaigning for equal rights. some of the strangest phenomenon appears to be happening among other oppressed groups such as the LGBT organizations that are in support of a free palestine. a free palestine would result in a middle east that is completely intolerant of gays, to a point where homosexuality would be punishable by death (as it currently is under hamas). israel, despite a grotesque show of military force in the presence of civilian populations (air force strikes, etc. - though this is another issue entirely as hamas factions will use said civilians as human shields), is the last bastion of gay equality in the middle east. tel aviv was even named a new great place for gays to visit by out magazine.

this is really just scratching the surface of this argument and i can already feel some people's blood beginning to curdle. i'm not here to start fights. i suppose this post really is just me trying to figure out for myself just what the fuck is happening in that region. many thoughts here are only partially hashed out but i hope that by getting them in text form i can further understand what is going on. my own opinions are, for the most part, irrelevant but becoming better educated is not. there will always be more to learn and more listen to.

while discussing the topic last night my saudi arabian roommate said this: "hamas, PNA, israel, whoever. it doesn't matter. it's the people. their lives are ruined. how could you support anybody who ruins lives and knows they're doing it?"

-e

5 comments:

joel said...

your roommate has officially made the most profound and parsimonious statement regarding the situation in gaza, and everywhere human rights and liberties are being trampled on.

also, i can always count on you for pragmatism, and i appreciate that greatly.

joel said...

maybe pragmatism isn't the word i'm looking for in this case. your willingness to look at a complex issue through a lens of complexity. how about that? shades of grey.

low.mid.high said...

so I was reading that Zombie time article, during which I came across a reference to national anarchism. A quick wiki search later I came across this gem. quotes for emphises

National-Anarchists see the hierarchies inherent in government and capitalism as oppressive. They advocate collective action organized along the lines of national identity, "and visualise a decentralised social order wherein like-minded individuals voluntarily establish and maintain distinct communities".[2]

I'm not sure, but I think they call those things towns. But what do I know, I'm part of the oppressive capitalist system.

erriott said...

joel: it's amazing the profundity that can be spoken when a person doesn't have the most thorough grasp on a language (ie, my roommate and english).

morgan: i seem to remember a rather poignant south park episode...?

low.mid.high said...

I remembered that, and I couldn't decide whether that made this entry funnier or sad. I think a little of both.