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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Governments Can't Won't Do It So People Have To--Blogging For Peace

I usually try to stick to living-in-Israel stuff, although living here means the political sometimes intrudes. But Yael and our blogging neighbors from the region are gathering at this new blog site to discuss what can be done to move us toward peace and if not peace tomorrow, then at least keep the dialogue going during the hard times.

This is important. That's not as trite as it sounds. Throughout history, governments have managed to manipulate their populations into no-holds-barred war by first demonizing The Other: "the Barbarian"; "the Hun"; "the Papist"; "the Infidel"; "the Jap"; "the Zionist", "the Kyke", "the Terrorist", "the Sandnigger", etc., usually prefaced by a scatalogical, obscene or profane adjective on the Street. Ugly names created for one purpose -- for one group of people to slaughter another, they must first strip their enemies of their humanity. That's what propaganda is for: its sole purpose is to promote the inhumanity of the opposing human beings so that they can be portrayed as less than human, in which case killing Them isn't all so bad because clearly they are a threat to Us. See Lord of the Flies for a case study.

Here we have a group of folks who are willing to try to overcome stereotypes, anger, history, pain and despair and get a dialogue going that will hopefully bring us to some common ground. Even if we don't always agree (and who always agrees?) we are at least having a conversation about it, and building relationships that will hopefully withstand the seemingly endless outbreaks of hostilities.

I don't know that a group of bloggers can (1) make peace where governments have failed or (2) survive the inevitable troll attacks long enough to get sensible discourse started, but I know it is a brave effort, and I applaud it. Go visit. If nothing else, it will give you Hope, something we definitely need a bit more of in this neighborhood.

Click on the title above for the link.

Thank you, Yael, Yaser, Tif, Shifaa, Ramzi S., Free Cedar, Drima and Big Pharoah!


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