The weblog of a traveller

   Jan 08

The dangerous indifferency

I turn on the news. I can’t watch and turn off again. I turn it back on, it’s too important, too big to be ignorant about.

I’m of course talking about the war on the edge of Europe. This is no political blog, but I can’t hold my peace on this. But instead of commenting the things that are going on, which many have done better than I ever could, like in The Independent, I will rather express my profound wonder regarding a quite common reaction to these news: “Meh.”

As we walked past a newsstand, I said to my friend, -have you seen the headlines? She shrugs,
-There’s always a war somewhere. There’s no way my friend could care less, and I see the same mentality in a lot of people when the issue is brought up; in lunch at work, on the bus. The information we get is truly hard to relate to and people tackle it in very different ways; some cry their empathic hearts out, while some lock it all out and deny the existence of the whole situation. The latter case puzzles and fascinates me and gives me some very low thoughts on humanity. It seems, the more terrible the violations, the less do people care. Sure the Middle East conflict is as old as Israel itself, but this is different, this time the people have nowhere to escape and that is what makes it so exceedingly inhumane. 30 years ago there would have been a massive uproar, but there have only been scattered demonstrations in response to this.

A simple explanation would be that people protect themselves from pain by relating to a difficult problem simply by not relating to it. That’s an accepted psychological fact. But isn’t that still too simple? How is it possible to ignore such a massive fight, so close and so well documented in media?
 Are we really ready to accept anything with a shrug and a frown? Where will that take us? How much are we capable of accepting and ignoring without ever reacting?

To those who have given in to the hopelessness I quote Avaaz: Our efforts really can make a difference — Israel’s own foreign minister admits that international pressure, if intense enough, could ensure a ceasefire (v√•penhvile).

In the meantime, I’m glad to see that some ordinary people still keep their hopes. Jewish teenagers with a conscience are going to jail for refusing to participate in this war. Please sign this petition to free them: December 18th campaign

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