Monday, August 07, 2006

Fighting Fire with Fire

I am so outraged and offended by Israel's bombing campaign in Lebanon that I can barely sleep at night. But I am also outraged that people will use the "opportunity" these horrible events offer to further their own agendas of hateful bigotry. We in the US are well acquainted with the tenor of Mel Gibson's recent anti semitic outburst. Our recent history is one of reckoning with our own institutional bigotry and Gibson's remarks take us directly to that ugly but familiar place. There has been little debate here as to whether or not Gibson was entering into a meaningful debate on his way to the drunk tank. However, the fact that so many people in Europe and elsewhere seem eager to defend his ranting as some kind of brave attempt to "keep it real", rather than to bully, demean and dehumanize, is alarming.

I agree that one need not be an anti-semite to speak out against Israel's brutality, in fact, one need not even be non-Jewish. So let's all agree to speak out against hateful speech and hateful violence no matter it's vessel. And while we are pondering balance let's ponder the fact that a common denominator between Israel, Hammas, Al Queda, Hezbolla and the United States is their collective willingness to use murder as a means to an end. At some point we are going to need to go in another direction because fighting fire with fire is simply burning us out.


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