Every morning, after snoozing all of my three consecutive alarms, my eyes finally adjust and open long enough for me to begin the first step of my morning routine, a step that often sets the tone for the rest of my day — that is, to check my phone. Sometimes, I am greeted with messages pertaining to the night before. Other times, I wake up to a sweet text message from a family member or friend.
As of late, however, my morning routine has been tainted by adversity. In the wake of the recent wave of terror that has struck Israel, my phone has been flooded by notifications from Ynet, an Israeli news app. From footage, to information on suspects, to testimonies from any given event, my phone is constantly vibrating with details of destruction in Israel.
Adding to my grief over the overwhelming number of notifications that have kept me awake at night is the deafening silence from other news sources around the world. Not only have most of these events been neglected by major sources such as BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera, but the stories that are covered are rarely told unbiasedly. After reading such articles, Israelis can either do everything in their power to prevent their blood from boiling, or they simply let out a sigh, a shrug, and maybe a sarcastic comment.
The recent infamous headlines reading “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” (BBC), and “Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed” (Al Jazeera) are two prime examples of shameful and unproductive journalism. Although most misleading headlines were eventually changed, many reports neglected to condemn the acts of terrorism on innocent Israeli lives.
Last week, Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, made a speech that was featured in Facebook’s Trending column. Although Facebook’s description of the speech was accurate, the word “terrorists” appeared in quotation marks, as if to imply that the knife-wielding Palestinians carrying out attacks across his city were simply misunderstood to be terrorists.
Those who set out to take the lives of innocent Israeli civilians or soldiers are undeniably terrorists. To put this word in quotation marks because of the weight it carries is to deny reality and irresponsibly mislead readers. The language surrounding this conflict needs to change, and we, the pro-Israel community around the world, should be the forefront of this revolution. Unfortunately, many pro-Israel activists feel lost and even defeated in the fight for accurate diction.
This rising wave of terrorism — already called the Third Intifada by some — has brought out ugly reactions from both Israelis and Palestinians, and blood has been shed on both sides. Last weekend, two violent acts of revenge on Palestinians were carried out by Israelis. Israeli culture tends to encourage finding a solution to any problems that may arise, which may explain the misguided obligation some feel for revenge. These inexcusable attacks can only lead to greater pain and suffering, rather than build a path towards peace. In fact, peace in the Middle East now seems farther than ever, as violence continues to escalate and the hatred continues to grow, leaving less room for dialogue, mutual respect and long-lasting harmony.
With each new notification reporting another stabbing or the passing of another innocent victim, Israelis can experience only heightened fear and apprehension towards living in danger in their own country. Of course, with Israeli residency comes the duty to exude “toughness” and not let any situation take too big of a toll on daily life. However, Israelis are tired of being afraid to live in their own country and even the most hopeful may begin to turn pessimistic regarding a peaceful future.
Israel doesn’t stand alone. All the Christians I know in America are completely supportive of the Jewish homeland and understand exactly what is happening. We also understand that it is inevitable that some people in Israel would feel so frightened by the recent terror attacks that they would become hysterical and lash out irrationally for revenge.
I guess what I have trouble with is the irrational (to me) idea that there will ever be a “path to peace” with these people. That I simply do not believe, just as I no longer believe in Santa Claus or leprechauns. Which leaves…what, exactly?
My Christian friends and I discuss this “what” all the time.
And we stand with Israel, no matter what.