Today is the day I lost faith in humanity
Probably one of the most complex situations in the world, the notorious Middle East conflict has now reached a newfound climax. People all over the world have a profound interest in a tiny strip of land, not any bigger than the Kruger National Park. It’s baffling to say the least, with sprawling Arab countries surrounding also embroiled in war and unrest, that this historical land has gained so much world scrutiny.
I will admit from the outset, I am biased in favour of Israel. I consider it the land of my heritage. I lived there; I learned there, I prayed there. I felt a deep spiritual connection to the land and many of my fellow Jews feel the same. So yes, I will always put on my rose coloured glasses when it comes to Israel.
With that in mind, I have an understanding of why any Muslim person will side with their people, the Palestinians. I take issue with some of the lies that are spread and the complete denial of wrong doing on the part of Hamas. But on the whole, it doesn't surprise me that most Muslims feel an affinity to the side that they most relate to. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and although the misinformation infuriates me, it is somewhat understandable.
What is beyond any comprehension is the hate that has been spewed over the past couple of weeks with the start of the latest war, coined by the Israeli Army as operation protective edge.
The terror organisation Hamas has been firing rockets at civilian targets for weeks. Israel has a sophisticated interceptor called the iron dome; if it wasn’t for this expensive technology the South of Israel would have been completely damaged and the amount of casualties would be unfathomable.
Israel also has a siren that allows 15 seconds before a rocket falls for people to get into their bomb shelters where they have a certain level of safety. Israel knows who she is dealing with and therefore takes the necessary precautions to protect her citizens.
When the rockets are fired incessantly from Gaza, Israel has to retaliate. Unfortunately Hamas operate out of civilian areas and many times innocent Palestinians, including children are caught in the crossfire. It’s a very sad consequence of Hamas practising terror out of the Gaza strip.
It is because of this that the level of casualties is so disproportionate. It also makes Israel look like the aggressor, even though the war would not have started if Hamas didn’t fire indiscriminate rockets...
It is a complex situation. Maybe it requires negotiating; maybe it requires military action but the fact remains that Israel cannot rest on its laurels while a bomb is literally waiting to explode.
It is a war, there will be two opinions, and there will be two sides, fine. The problem arises where one side will fail to see the other because of blind hatred.
This is the part where I lose faith in humanity.
It started off with the words of Jesse Duarte, The ANC secretary General. She is so obviously misinformed (perhaps voluntarily misinformed) and has no knowledge of the intricacies that surround the history of the Middle East conflict. She had the audacity to compare the Israeli’s to the Nazi’s and I quote, “The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps.” She obviously failed to mention the part played by Hamas in the unrest.
Her audacious statement is an insult to the many millions of Jews who were in death camps. It’s a comparison with no basis in fact. She made a loaded statement based on nothing but the feelings of her heart, the feelings that are so obviously one sided and anti Semitic in the most sickening way.
This was followed by something even more vile and disgusting. A face book post, showing a picture of Hitler, saying the following: “Yes man you were right, I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let them know why I was killing them.” This was posted by the Western Cape @MYANC_ social media manager.
I learnt about the Holocaust in school, it was real for me because it was my people. I was always relieved to be born after that horrific time and the question always came up, “could it happen again.” I was always safe in the knowledge that the world has come a long way in tolerance and understanding. Even more so in South Africa, considering our sordid past of racial inequality and discrimination and the efforts made to stop the hate.
Today I realized how wrong I was. The ANC is making these comments, not the fascist Nats. It was a scary reality brought home so strongly in these messages by people who maybe should have known better.
As this sober reality was hitting home, I just received more and more hate coming in all shapes and sizes. The thing that brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat was the hash tag #hitlerwasright, trending on twitter.
There is a war; instead of looking at it objectively it’s used as an opportunity to hate, to victimise, to threaten. I was harassed on twitter for stating my opinion, I was called a murderer. I was told to “get out of South Africa”, I was told to “shut up”, and I was again reminded that Hitler was right. I read tweets encouraging the mass murder of Jews.
People who don’t know me hate me for my religion, a scary and familiar phenomenon. Jew haters used to hide behind the guise of being “anti-Zionist” but my experience today showed me that they were lying. Anti Semitism is real. Hate is widespread. There is still no tolerance, there is still no respect.
When people are honouring Hitler once again, it’s obvious that history can repeat itself, how can I NOT lose faith in humanity.