Monday, July 28, 2014

Jews And Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies and Why I Stopped Hating Hashtags


Normally, I hate hashtags. Most are annoying, cryptic, pretentious or about cats, an animal I personally detest. But this morning I saw one (a hashtag, not a cat!) that has altered my reality. This morning I saw something heartening:
#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

I invite you to click on the link just to look at the pictures. This is my favorite:



In a time of violence and conflict, these brave souls decide to show their humanity in the face of barbarity. It gives us a chance to remember that not everyone from a war-torn part of the world is consumed by hatred and fear. There are those who have overcome their tribal differences to find commonality and, even, love.

For the first time, the Internet has allowed us to see their faces and read their words. People who want nothing more than to live in peace, free from persecution and prejudice. It is important to remind the world that there are Palestinians who don't rain rockets, just as there are Jews who are not lethal.

With the media consumed with body counts and explosions, because of the Internet, these peace loving people aren't so alone, aren't so invisible. While the great enemies slaughter and maim, they connect with one another online to share a message of peace. And this message can be seen around the world.

For the Internet is a mirror to humanity. All our ugliness and glory on display for the price of the right keywords in your favorite search engine. Suddenly you can look deep into our madness and see the worst that humanity has to offer. Or, instead, you can look for those who seek to bring a positive message. One of peace, love and understanding.

It is harder to hate your enemy once you recognize him as human. That is exactly what this hashtag accomplishes. It shows us how two historically bitter foes can put aside millennia of hate by forgetting their differences and remembering their common humanity.

It's nice to see the Internet's sweet side, that doesn't feature a cutesy cat. Maybe hashtags aren't all bad.









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