"You really think this issue is that black and white," I asked? "Is Israel this big bad old occupying power and Hamas is the moral equivalent of our romanticised revolutionary fathers?"
"Oh," she replied. "Fuck off."
Her MSN status quickly changed to 'offline'. I haven't heard from her since.
An acquaintance of mine read a post I did a few days back regarding the current crisis in Gaza. She decided to inform me about what I should know about the situation. The girl sent me an article about a few facts concerning the occupation in an article entitled 'Things You Don't Know about Israel' or something to that effect. She claimed it would end my support of 'evil'.
I read through the article and realized anyone who listens to NPR for an hour would know all of this. Plus the reporter failed to mention many things about the current strikes such as where the rockets are placed, how Hamas is putting their own citizens in harms way, and neglected to offer any sort of reasonable response to the rocket attacks.
She did not take my analysis of the article well and called me a mindless simpleton who doesn't know anything about the region.
Oh it's on.
She went on to make the various claims about her wisdom regarding Palestine and how it's nothing but a US outpost and we're supporting genocide. When I questioned her about what she felt about the British Accord shortly after WWI, the deal Barak tried to make with Arafat, or even where exactly the Golan Heights are it was clear her education was limited to Daily Show excerpts and sound byte journalism.
She was not happy when I told her she may want to read more about the conflict. I recommended some books and documentaries, but she got more pissed off. The girl fancies herself politically savvy and will stand on any soap box declaring herself such, but when challenged on anything she gets a thin skin and takes it personally. I should've known better than to try and help her get a better understanding of one of the most complex issues in history.
"Most wars are all about religion," she said. "All of you the bible thumpers are responsible for this."
"Wait," I said. "Which wars?"
"Duh," she typed. "The Crusades."
"Okay," I replied. "What exactly started the Crusades? Actually do you know who exactly the European powers were fighting? Name a few names. I dare you."
Most people make the claim that every war is all about some leaders who seem to have some sort of faith, yet struggle to mention any other besides the infamous Crusades. Considerng there have been thousands of wars all through out history it's a bold statement at best. I pressed her on that issue and she just unloaded on me getting very defensive.
I should've known better as she's prone to this kind of behavior before. I've been referred to as arrogant when speaking in matters of history and politics and maybe I come off as such, but I'm no more educated than most. I have no degrees in the topics. I just read and learn on my own accord. It's a hobby with no more importance than someone who follows sports or Star Trek. I'm wrong a lot of the times in my conclusions as new evidence comes to light constantly.
I apologized for coming off as condescending, but she promised never to read my 'stupid blog' again and continued with the 'I just think....' statements about Gaza. She accused me of supporting genocide which was really low. In fact she seems unclear as to what my position on the topic really is. Doesn't matter though as she made it obvious I won't be hearing from her again.
I should've just let it go from the very beginning, read the article, and thanked her. My behavior did no one any good. People want to make the situation seem black and white. It's easier for them to make sense of and the romantic in all of us wants to pull for freedom fighters battling against the forces of tyranny. I envy that thinking when it comes to the Middle East.
"The truth about Hamas and Islamic Jihad is that they don't prevent Israel from existing or even flourishing, they prevent Palestine from coming into existence." - Michael Medved