Proxy Cheerleaders
Read this article right HERE.
Read this one as well right HERE.
Read THIS for some of the latest chatter between Bebe & Obama.

One of my professors said something that I'll never forget during the semester I studied in Jerusalem. When asked what can we do as students going back to the United States, after spending a semester in Jerusalem, to help the current political situation in Israel/Palestine... professor Yardin replied with this answer: Don't go back and be "proxy cheerleaders". What he means is don't go back and be pro Israel or pro Palestine and rally people behind your ideologies, thoughts, opinions, etcetera, but rather be pro peace. Be an advocate for a solution. Now... one can make a case and say that it would be close to impossible to do this, but I think that the main thing is to do exactly the opposite of what Mr. Beck and many other conservative commentators do. Don't go getting people excited about your opinion one way or another.

I'm not advocating luke warmness either (to borrow a familiar phrase from a particular book) but to rather be a voice of reason and take a look at both sides of the playing field and try and understand the commentary, history, and current events from the point of view of each side. Both people; Palestinians and Jews, have a deep and well documented history in that particular geographic area, both groups have given up much through time and have had to make adjustments, both are going to have to make big decisions that will ultimately displace people from their current home, both have done some pretty rude things to each other (to put it lightly). The lack of proper leadership and forward thinking over the past 40, 60, and even 150 years (some can make the case for thousands of years even) has created a situation, climate, cauldron, problem, or whatever you would like to call it that is less than ideal and filled with difficult roads to useful and productive resolutions. Things are tricky over there, and that is the biggest understatement of the century. The last thing we need are american demagogues that see fit to get caught up in the middle of something way over their head. Beck is a weirdo, you can put that together by watching just a few minutes of his television program. There are several other people that have done similar things (Huckabee is another, see the second link) that will only confuse people who really don't take the time to study and understand the situation.

You're not going to have an even decent understanding of the history and current situation in the Holy Land by watching cable news. Hells bells, you're not even going to gain it from reading a book or even an anthology of books written on the situation. This thing is so complex you need much more than that. As I write this I'm not saying I have it, and get it, and even grasp it like I need to, but I will say that I have taken the time to look objectively at both sides and have done everything I can to study and understand it; from both perspectives and from a few other angles as well. There is a proper approach and something at least slightly noble in acting like you don't have all the answers and being open minded to various world views shared by Jews, Palestinians, Israelis, Muslims, or whatever other group you want to label as the direct parties involved. Lets be open minded and educated.

Lets all remember to not be "proxy cheerleaders." I would love to hear some opinions.

(For those who care, these pictures were taken by me in the Fall of 2009. First one is outside Jaffa Gate looking to West Jerusalem. Second one is the symbol found in the Kotel Tunnel tour in the Jewish quarter in the Old City.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your words and thoughts on this subject. It's so easy just to take a side and not even have a reason. Seek to understand, then to be understood.