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Act against Slander!

BS”D

 

Okay, this is probably going to be a hot topic, but I couldn’t let it go. Normally I don’t write a lot about politics anymore, at least not if it’s not in context of religious thoughts. But this one I just had to relate to.

 

Lately a picture has been passed around on Facebook, and probably also other places. It is depicting an Israeli soldier, standing with one food on a Palestinian girl, pointing his weapon at her, while the girl’s sister is sitting crying next to them. This is passed in order to show the cruelty of the Israelis, or at least the soldiers (but since the general notion is that all Israelis are going to be soldiers, all Israelis are cruel anyway).

Some wake people noticed a lot of problems with the picture though, for example parts of the uniform being different from the Israeli uniform, as well as the weapon being an AK-47, and not one of the two standard weapons of the Israeli army. That was commented, and a revised picture, pointing out all the things not fitting to the story out.

Now the whole picture has been found, which gives a total different story, being a “play” in Bahrain (supposed), where a person is portraying an Israeli soldier, acting like people want to believe Israeli soldiers are acting. It is – it appears – not an Israeli soldier, but rather a piece of, well, propaganda, and someone at some time chose to expand the propaganda, changing the picture showing a play, to becoming a picture supposedly showing the actual act of an Israeli soldier.

 

Why do I have to react?

Well, basically it is not something new, and you also can find actual true pictures of Israeli soldiers acting immoral, as well as you can of many other armies or militant groups. We can always find actual examples on people acting wrong or worse than mere wrong. But this picture in itself is an example of people acting this way, than rather than being honest, even in their dislike of Israel, chose to go that step further, and engaged in slander. We have to react against actions like this, as well as react against the soldier – had the picture been true – acting like this. But the problem here is that pictures always tell what the presenter wants them to tell. Always. The notion “a picture tells more than a thousand words” is true, but it should be expanded to “a picture tells more than the thousand words the sender wants to tell about a story, whether true or false.” We don’t know what really happened in context of any given picture, only what the person presenting it wants us to know about it, and maybe he/she wishes to give a certain story, which goes according to the “reality” he/she wants people to believe, then that is what the picture will tell. But that’s the actual pictures themselves, this is worse, this is not a true picture, this is a lie presented as truth, in order to give someone a bad name, in order to spread hatred. That can’t be excused, no matter what, and I simply have to react against it.

And don’t think that it is only Israel/Israelis who are victim to slander like that, it happens to Muslims as well, and is as despicable in that case, whether it is minarets portrayed as missiles, in order to emphasize a certain notion about Islam, whether it is making portrayals of supposed Muslims raping a woman, killing non-Muslims or whatever. I’m not talking about pictures of for example extremist Muslims, who then are used as spreading the false notion that ALL Muslims are like them, that’s bad enough, but fake pictures of supposed Muslims doing something in some context, in order to spread hatred.

 

And whoever complains about slander been done against them, about misrepresentation, about anything they don’t want people to do against them and theirs, should be deeply ashamed doing the exact action, they condemn when done against them, against others.

 

Creating, expanding, and encouraging hatred, whether it’s against Israelis (or Jews) or Palestinians (or Muslims) is wrong, stupid, especially if you want conflicts solved. I’m not saying that criminal acts are not done, and they should be dealt with, but one man’s action doesn’t define the next in the line, no matter who we are talking about.


2 Comments

  1. Michael Kay says:

    Really interesting post; I’d seen this image going around, thanks for the extra background. As for the last point, more people need to follow the advice of Hillel and R’Akiva (the former more famous for it than the latter), who separately said, and I paraphrase, if you don’t like it, don’t do it to other people! One is left with the impression that for many people, the emphasis is not on ending conflicts for the sake of peace, but on winning them, for the sake of themselves.

  2. qolyehudi says:

    Hi Michael

    Indeed, I do try to have Hillel’s teachings in my mind at all time, and incorporate others’ as well. I have to admit thought that I’m studying the medieval Rabbis more than those of the Mishnah, at least when it comes to moral teachings, though I do love to study Pirqei Avot.

    And your last comment is really well put, I have had that feeling for a long time, but I haven’t been able to express it so precise. I might quote you;o)

    Thanks for your comment, and take care

    Shmuel

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