Saturday, 21 June 2014
I want to believe that it should be easy to form an opinion about the conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza region. All that death and destruction is so senseless.
Yet the conversation here, thousands of miles from the conflict, is bizarrely polarised, stifling intelligent discussion. It reminds me of how the antagonism between climate change advocates and its deniers has turned any mention of “climate adaptation” into a mere whisper.
But I digress. Out here, where we’re safe from the conflict, people seem happy to flame each other with images that are accompanied by witty slogans, memes and headlines that amount to no more than rage-bait. These are all the hallmarks of slacktivism. It’s sad that people’s opinions on such a complex issue have been reduced to a handful of trifling punchlines.
Just look at this image below. The words “KEEP WALKING, JUST ANOTHER DEAD PALESTINIAN” are designed to provoke, challenge, antagonise and possibly insult passers by. It’s written this way presumably as a response to apathy from certain parts of the community – but to me, that’s probably not the smartest way to bring people on side. I took a photo of her anyway – she went to so much trouble; figured I wouldn’t let it all go to waste.