Day 172: Provocative

Day 172: Provocative

Day 172: Provocative

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.

Just another dead Palestinian

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2 thoughts on “Day 172: Provocative

  1. Thanks for your feedback. I think the only thing I can categorically take a stand on is that the loss of life is unacceptable. Beyond that, there appears to be a reluctance from either side to (a) openly and honestly acknowledge all that they’ve done to provoke each other in the past; and (b) make a lasting commitment to stopping the cycle of violence. Both sides are very proud, and it’s a conflict that has been going on for many decades and beyond. It will be generations before they can look past the natural impulse to seek revenge for all the old hurts. If I had better answers than this, I wouldn’t be working a desk job, so take anything I have to say with a grain of salt.

    By way of example, I’d point towards the current relationship between Japan and its neighbours, China and South Korea. They’re obviously not like-for-like, but their history of violent antagonism has transitioned into a competitive and highly productive cross-cultural community.

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