As I sit here reading an article about Israeli airstrikes in the Golan Heights, a common thought enters my mind. All around me I find that perception out weighs rationality. Take this story for instance. On Friday, Israeli bombers entered sovereign Syrian airspace and bombed Syrian military positions. Israel responded by warning the Syrians that any more attempts to shoot down Israeli jets (over Syria) would be met with aggression. Israeli Defense Minster Avigdor Lieberman went as far as to say that the anti-aircraft weapons would be bombed “without the slightest hesitation“.
This post isn’t about Syria. And it’s surely not some anti-Israeli rant. I’m taking this example of a news story to demonstrate my earlier observation. See, when I read this story, I look at it without bias. Or at least I try not too. Do I have strong opinions? Sure. But those are set aside. All I see here is one gang with a white & blue flag deciding to attack the property of one of it’s neighboring gangs. I see an aggressor and a defender. That’s as far as a I take it. In a world that is so obviously gray, things like this are black and white.
When deciding what to feel about this piece of news I flesh out these simple truths. In this instance the government of Israeli violated the sovereign airspace of the government of Syria, dropping fire from the sky with no declaration of war. That’s it. Israeli is in the wrong. No matter what other information or past events lead up to this point.
Let’s back up. I say all this to make my point. This is a huge story in my little world. This story influences my day, my politics, my view on the world. I ignore any editorializing that may be done by the author (it is Antiwar.com after-all). This is how I’ve formed by opinions and viewpoints since before I can remember. “Think for yourself” has always been a freedom I’ve relished in exercising.
With the never-ending stream of stories and information coming at people on a daily basis, I see so many around me settling for others to do the deep thinking for them. They have viewpoints of their own. Their own emotions too. I’m not sitting here saying I’m special. Just that with the access to information, and a little critical thinking tools, I believe the world should be becoming more sober in its perceptive. More rational.
This story will be received differently by individuals all over the world. Are they Jewish? Are they Arab? Are they Zionist? Are they from the US? Do they watch CNN? Have they glanced over enough news headlines that they believe that “Syria = bad, Israel = good”? Why does this matter to them? These are questions I ask when I see the reactions of so many. Because I don’t understand where they are coming from.
In a world that is most definitely gray, when something can be stamped black or white..it should be. And we should feel relief in that.