Okay, so the title of this blog is a little misleading and perhaps even a bit inappropriate considering what the content will be, but I love poutine. I can’t deny it. I dream about it. If I see it, my eyes light up like a 4 year-old’s on Christmas morning. It’s pretty pathetic.
Many people have been chiming in and giving their two cents on what’s happening in Gaza right now. The war between Israel and Palestine is certainly grabbing headlines and now everyone who once never had an opinion on Apartheid or the Gaza Strip, suddenly does. I think it’s important that people are paying attention and attempting to show their support for the victims, however, I think choosing a side can be really dangerous (unless that side is poutine, get it?).
Whether you choose to show your support for Israel or Palestine, it’s important to remember that there are helpless, innocent and vulnerable civilians on BOTH sides. You cannot paint all people with the same brush, it simply isn’t fair. The media are going to twist and warp the story to portray whatever they want you to believe. Along with that is some pretty clear evidence of who has the upper hand when it comes to weaponry and military. While I certainly can say that my heart goes out to the thousands of Palestinians who are suffering from attacks that are grossly unequal to the attacks they are committing, I still feel sympathy for those in Israel who are also falling victim to these senseless attacks.
The thoughts that cross my mind are, what stereotypes and biases are we creating against Israel and it’s people? What further discrimination and hate is being perpetuated? Hate has fueled this war. The path to resolve isn’t paved with further hate.
When we remember the victims of this war, we must realize that the impact is felt on both sides – even if not equally. One group’s suffering does not completely dismiss another group simply because of the size. We are one as human beings, but we will continue to be divided by issues of race, religion, class, gender, sex, and the list goes on. I am continuously reminded that love, compassion and empathy are what we need in order to achieve peace. By choosing a side, you are not showing love, compassion or empathy. You are taking a stance to stand next to one group and point the finger at the other and label them as enemies.
I want to be very clear that in no way am I condoning or supporting what is happening in Gaza right now or the reasoning behind this war. What I am attempting to convey is that if people want to support the victims of this war, if they want to back the people who are suffering and want a positive resolve to end this conflict, then they must not choose a side. This is not about dividing and conquering – that is how we get ourselves into these messes in the first place. They must band together with others to fight against the root cause of this war, not the innocent people who are caught up in it. Militaries are following the words of their leaders. Leaders are giving orders based on religious beliefs. Religion and politics do not belong under the same roof. I will continue to show my support for the innocent victims and bystanders of this war. That’s why, the only time I ever choose a side, is when that side is poutine.