February 15, 2013

Ignorance of the Well-Intentioned

The following video, entitled "HAMAS," popped up on my radar not so very long ago, thanks to StandWithUs. It was made after the defensive action by Israel in November, 2012, to stop the rockets indiscriminately shot from Gaza at Israel's civilians, a war crime expressly forbidden by the Geneva Convention and Protocols.  

The video reverberated with me for several reasons. As one who follows current events, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict, and observes discussion and comments on the internet and in gatherings of well-intentioned people, it is striking to recognize how much is grounded in ignorance. This does not mean that these people are ignorant per se, but that the information possessed about history and facts is fragmented, skewed and inaccurate. This leads them to adopt positions that are suspect and may not conform to their underlying principles.

For many, it is hard to see because in their circles, like most circles, people seek out the conventional views they agree with and generally hear little of what differs, or they dismiss what differs without ever listening. One need only look at Washington, DC to see where it is leading us. It's something called the Mutz paradox and it should be a lesson to all that deliberative democracy needs diversity of opinion to work best.

I hope you watch the video, especially if you are a progressive that supports human rights for ALL peoples and individuals. Perhaps the questions asked in the video will sound familiar. Will the answers reveal anything? Just how much do you really know about the conflict, the events, the players and their intentions?

In morality and law, is confronting aggression the same as engaging in it? Is it so hard to make the distinction?

Are calls for genocide illegal? Who are the victims of these calls? Are they entitled to support and even protection? Imagine if someone wanted to exterminate you and your loved ones and so many just shrugged it off as the Hatfields and McCoys.

The bottom line is that there actually is a difference, but for too many it just does not matter, due to ignorance that permits a bias to form, one which seems to blur the ability to discern which side of the human rights debate one is on.

No comments:

Post a Comment