A Heartbreaking Lack of Understanding

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Eschew Obfuscation
By Michael Douglass –

I guess I’m naive.


Michael Wade Douglass

It was obviously a mistake to open my head and heart and share my thoughts on something as profoundly controversial as the Israeli Palestinian conflict. A mistake to speak out against war in general and this one in particular.

In hindsight it occurs to me that my biggest mistake was not only not taking a side but also lamenting the conspicuous horror and consummate savagery of it. Sincerely and honestly despairing all the senseless death of men and women and children. So many, so completely innocent of everything, but still finding themselves between powers greater than their own and no where to run.

I guess it was a mistake to so earnestly, perhaps brazenly, reveal my own humanity and genuine empathy. I guess it was a mistake to instead of endorse the actions of one side or the other, to have the audacity to wonder at its end. To hope for a resolution. It’s a mistake I can live with. I’ll own that mistake every day with every fiber of my being.
For this I have been called an anti-Semite. It breaks my heart, it really does. Some are content to say so behind my back, but some who are so quick to judge have been valuable friends of mine for nearly a quarter century. People whom I respect and without reservation can say I love. People with integrity and in possession of hearts so honest and open as to be vulnerable to all the cruelties of life and other people. People who I know feel the same about me for the same reasons.

Some of these people now judge me to be anti-Semitic because I didn’t pick a side.

Their side.

I imagine that if no one were to take a side, war would be impossible. I’m a pacifist. I am guilty of that and so be it. But I absolutely bristle at the label of anti-Semite. It is no different than the furious offense I would take to being called a racist or a homophobe. It is beyond exasperating. It is not in any way representative of how I’ve led my life and the choices I’ve made as the result of teachings by good, honest and thoughtful parents.
To be called any of these things is bad enough.

It is an anathema.

To be thought of as any of them is soul torturing.

I would ask any of you who actually know me, who know my heart, my actions and deeds as a fellow inhabitant of this planet to stop and think. Just because I oppose not just your war but all war including the ones my country wages, all violence and cruelty, all man’s inhumanity to man, that doesn’t make me an anti-Semite. That merely makes me a human being with a modicum of compassion for all the other human inhabitants of this tiny blue marble hanging in a universe too vast for any of us to comprehend.

I have maligned no one in particular, I haven’t discriminated against any individual or group. I have never in my life consciously engaged in anything of the kind. What I have done is shine an obviously uncomfortable light on every single one of us.

“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” -Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

If I have offended anyone, it was not my intent but I nonetheless apologize. I’m not sure whether it’s more painful to have inadvertently done so, or for any of you to assume I would do as much with malice or intent.

Drinks for my friends.

Republished with permission from BrainSpank.Org.

© 2014, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

  1 comment for “A Heartbreaking Lack of Understanding

  1. Walter Simon
    August 7, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I came to the same conclusion, why should I be forced to “take a side”? If the Palestinians are more wrong does that make Israel right? That seems to me to be a perverse form of collective Zoroastrian judgement, an omniscient claim. Could it be that some people have a selective interpretation of the entirety of the situation because “our side” is committing genocide? The longer this war of occupation goes on the more denial must be injested, the opiate of the rational mind.

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