On the sublime rhetoric of the Big Match

Now that you see spectacular explosions and blood and death in Gaza it’s time for you to choose a side, defend it and delegitimate the other. No matter if you think Gaza in Mesopotamia and Israelis go to school by camel, like I thought before I came to live here. Self-defence vs struggle for freedom, terrorism vs occupation, Jews vs Arabs, West vs East, democracy vs theocracy, M-16 vs AK-47, jets vs rockets. Big slogans for big matches. In the break of World Cup games the news quickly appear on the huge screen, reporting the number of rockets Hamas sent during the first half of the game, and the number of airstrikes Israeli air forces conducted in response. They show you the highlights of the day and comment them, they report politicians’ declarations, they interview people involved and ask what do they expect to happen next: war becomes a big match, with its goals, coaches, tactics, great actions. Big contests reveal a lot about our friends personalities. Some people choose or change their side according to the score: when Brazil is loosing 5-0 one will hope for some mercy; one other will suddenly cheer for Germany and call for another goal, cause beyond everything he likes to win. Too many people take the latest violence escalation as a big match. Right now Gaza is loosing some 100-0 against Israel, and on your facebook you can easily count your pietist friends, posting pictures of bloody limbs and screaming mothers, and the machists, posting pictures of hollywoodian explosions, advanced technologies and futuristic jets crossing blue skies. The first are moved by compassion, the latter are galvanized by power.

I think this makes it all too easy. You can well adapt the World Cup’s folk psychology to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people do it all the time, but don’t pretend you’re making politics. You cannot take the Palestinian side just because they suffer more, and you cannot take the Israeli side just because their army always wins.
One observation for the pietist party: consider the intentions. What would Hamas do if it had the power the Israelis have right now? They would probably kill any Jew of Palestine, they would bomb any city of Israel until not even one building would stand, and would immediately declare the new Islamic Califfate in Jerusalem. What makes you think this is their first intention? Because they declare it in public, they write it on their constitutive act, they promote it in their propaganda, they promise it to their people and kill the oppositors to this intentions. They put their launching sites, ammunition storages and headquarters in schools and central buildings, using civilians as human shields. By this they show that their first interest is to kill Jews and not protect Arabs. Is it a noble intention? How should we take in account the intentions in choosing for whom to cheer? The answer goes beyond the 100-0 score.

And one to the machist party: consider the larger frame. Israel is defintely winning the battles on field, but there are other parameters to take in account. For example, since the birth of the State in 1948 every single boy has to give three years of his life to the military service, the girls two: the years in which we Europeans start studying, exploring the world, making the most positive experiences that will make our future. Generation after generation, 18 years old Israelis eat shitty food suffering the cold and the heat, punching and arresting random people with hatred and despair in their eyes and that only wait for the day of the revenge or, in most cases, simply work in an anonimous offices without earning a cent, where your boss gives you orders like a soldier. Cause you are a soldier. Since the occupation of Palestine in 1967 and the beginning of the colonization Israeli citizens saw their world support as the nation of the persecuted (in 1948 it was 0-6.000.000, for the pietists) become a worldwide hatred as brutal oppressors. The non-Israeli Jews of France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and all the foreign countries where there are no IDF soldiers protecting them day and night with patrols, separation walls and Iron Domes, pay the consequences of the hate Israelis are daily seeding and watering since few decades, in virtue of the misterious equation Jew=Israeli. In light of this facts, what are Israeli citizens winning in this routine escalation with Gaza? Hopefully silence for few months, surely hatred and security problems for the next…20? 40 years? So before you take Israel as the Germany we saw against Brazil, you machist party should take in account the fear, the insicurity, the hatred, the psychological trauma and the moral dilemma, the huge financial weight and the years of life that Israelis have to pay in order to arrive ready to that semi-final. With such a training even Italy might have a chance to pass the qualifications. And now the question: is it worth? How important is to play and win this semi-final, when its price is so high? A lot of people already play soccer, in Somalia, Korea, Ukraine, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Why not let them play and try a way to take some rest? There was a time in which most Israelis were trying to go out of the field.

Interesting perspectives on what is going on start to emerge from the noise only when we take a good distance from pain and love, hatred and compassion, live reports and red alarms. You make politics with facts glued by logic, not by emotions. With some silence. I don’t expect lucid analyses to come from Gaza, cause the only silence they experience could be the last one before the boom, with no sirens, shelters, Iron Domes, but I do expect it from Israel. And instead around me I see an overwhelming amount of emotions, pubblished in any possible form, vomited on my already limited cognitive capacities. It all confuses my thinking, interferes with my principles, pollutes my conclusions. I started my personal war against the big match rhetoric: I try to open only links with no images or videos. I look for words, long sentences with subjects, complements, verbs, subordinate verbs, participles, consecutio temporum, interiections. Dots. Commas, and here comes another thought. For big emotions I already have the World Cup final. 


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