Woke Culture Isn't Helping Create a Peaceful Narrative for Israel and Palestine

Dear Woke Culture on Social Media:

I mourn for every innocent Israeli and Palestinian life lost the last few days. We must focus on as these senseless human lives lost. It represents the horridness of war.

We can’t have events that escalate to this.

We must have compassion and a shared humanity that ties us all together.

But the narrative I’m hearing is not along these lines.

I don’t like to comment on politics on social media. I find it hard to have an in depth dialogue. But I can no longer sit silent…

Woke cultural has the right intentions of progress and humanity but it’s not distributed evenly. It has its own agenda. It looks out for the victims of the world but sometimes it fails to look through the harshness of reality of actually dealing with these complicated situations in principle. We all want to end human suffering. If it were so simple it would be done already…

People will post on their social media feeds but very few actually learn to understand the complexity of issues. But what I find most interesting, is most woke people don’t distribute their care evenly across issues unless it fits a narrative they want to push for a particular victim. For example:

  • From 2014 to today, over 29K civilians died from ISIS (Defense One). I heard very little from woke culture then.

  • More recently, 12K+ civilians died in Yemen over the past few years during their civil war (Armed Conflict Data). Where was the uproar from woke culture then?

Woke culture is just mimicking the woke people around them. Re-sharing what they have “learned” on social media and how they now have a true moral understanding of the world. They come to you to show just how great of human they are and talk about how much they understand. Don’t get me wrong, this is good, as it does have some knowledge in it but reality is complicated and not black and white.

There isn’t one side. What I find is that woke culture thinks they understand good and bad as if they have heard it from gods mouth.

To me, this is an example of Dunning-Kruger effect which means people have a cognitive bias to overestimate their ability and are unaware of their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their level of competence on a topic.

The reactions on social media the past few days regarding the escalation of evictions and pushing Palestinians out of their homes has been appalling to see. Many people have the confidence to “talk” about this issue on social media but few really understand.

It seems to completely point all aim at Israel as if it were so simple. It seems to portray Israeli’s in such a strong negative light. This isn’t woke. This is anti-Semitic tropes.

I understand you may blame Israel as an aggressor with their police force and settlements (more on that later) but the escalation to firing hundreds of rockets by Hamas from a riot is completely being stepped over in the dialogue on social media. Hamas wanted the riots to occur the way they did so they could justify sending rockets into Israel.

Hamas doesn’t care about their Palestinian civilians. They started a battle they know they couldn’t win.

What would any nation do when their schools, hospitals and citizens were being blown up by Hamas (a terrorist organization)?

The rhetoric about Israel trying to kill innocent people, being an apartheid nation and a colonial power is uneducated about the difficulty of the situation, incorrect and counter productive.

  • Israel is targeting Hamas leaders that are firing rockets. They often warn innocent Palestinians to leave their homes before a rocket is fired. You can learn more below. Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, there have been Palestinian civilian causalities in this war that erupted unnecessarily.

  • While more than 20% of Israel isn’t Jewish, there are no Jews living in areas occupied by Hamas or the Palestinian Liberation Organization. There has been recent uproar across Israel resulting in barbarian like outcomes. Jewish mobs hurting Arab Israeli’s and Arab-Israeli’s hurting Jews. Israel is now facing an internal conflict in addition to the war with Hamas. The fact that this can even happen is a reflection that Israel isn’t an apartheid state but one with different backgrounds living amongst each other.

  • Colonial power implies trying to push their language and culture. Britain did this with English and the Middle East speaks mostly Arabic. Israel is not trying to push Hebrew on Palestinians and make them assimilate. Never mind the fact that most Israeli Jews are not of Eastern-European descent, but are from the Middle East and North Africa. (The history of Israel, despite what facile activists would have you believe, is not color-coded.)

As an American Jew, Zionist, and with a brother currently in Israel let me tell you some of the things I’m thinking about as I’ve heard a lot from woke culture speak out unilaterally the past few days.

First off, the Iron Dome is imperfect and I’m scared for my brother. He went out to do laundry the other day, heard sirens go off, and had to run to a shelter.

Rockets are landing and are killing Israeli’s.

Israel has long been seen as the homeland to the Jewish people as noted in history over 1500+ years BCE. While the al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site, the Temple Mount near by is considered the Jews holiest site around the entire world.

Over the thousands of years of Jewish history, Jewish people had to flee their homeland across Europe, the Middle East and some even leaving to South America and hiding their identity as the persecution of the Jewish people was unbearable.

What other types of people had to run like this to the far corners of the world to avoid persecution?

Palestinians and Jews lived in Israel /Palestine in the late 1800s and early 1900s in harmony. For the most part, nothing was really built up there and it was part of the Ottoman Empire until it’s fall in World War One.

Israel became a nation in 1948 and it was split up between Israel and Palestine by the British like many places around the world were split up at the time. Soon after its independence, Israel was invaded by 5 Arab nations as they did not believe Israel had the right to exist known as the Arab-Israeli war.

In 1949, after the Arab-Israeli war, Jordan controlled East Jerusalem and the West Bank and Egypt controlled Gaza. These neighboring countries took over the land that was once granted to Palestine in attempt to grow their power and influence in the region.

Subsequently in the 1967 6 day war, Jordan and Egypt lost control of their occupied territories after invading Israel. Gaza became under Palestinian control. Israel and Palestine controlled different parts of the West Bank.

The land in the West Bank, is directly connected to Jerusalem, which is where the contentious area is that we are dealing with today.

Palestinians have lived in this land but it has been disputed because Palestinians believe it is there land based on the 1948 lines while Israeli’s believe it is there land on the 1967 line after the 6 day war.

Israel recently went through a Supreme Court ruling that Palestinian people were staying in this territory illegally. From my understanding, this decision was made partly because they were living there rent free, not paying taxes, but benefitting from Israeli investment into infrastructure. This is a complicated issue and disputed for decades in Israel on this very sensitive land in East Jerusalem. The land was never formally exchanged from Jordan back to Palestine after they lost control in the 6 day war.

Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has fought eight recognized wars, two Palestinian intifadas, and a series of armed conflicts in the broader Arab–Israeli conflict which includes conflicts with Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan to name a few.

Israel has constantly had to defend itself as a nation from inception. It is the only land of the Jewish people. The Palestinians have right to the land as well.

Palestinians have been unfairly bared the brunt of what Israel has had to deal with over the years and this has caused much suffering for their people. It makes me so sad that Palestine didn’t grow into a strong neighboring country. It didn’t have the support of the US like Israel did because of the strategic military reasons in the Middle East.

Many of the upper class in Palestine left when they could in the 1960s and 1970s as they saw a worsening situation with continued occupation by foreign governments and being at the center of armed conflict from neighboring nations.

This left the Palestinians without leaders in addition to not having support from strong allies.

As Israel has built outward into the West Bank, the international community has claimed these developments are unjustified which I disagree with. Israel is building schools and hospitals and infrastructure. I hope one day Palestinians and can benefit from these developments.

As horrible as this sounds, this is just a more extreme version of gentrification in the context of the Middle East. It’s human progress and development. Hopefully this development will help Palestinians.

Palestinians say the economic opportunities in West Bank are slim to none. By working in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, they are able to earn more and provide for their families. Hopefully this can help stimulate an intertwined economies and help create peace.

Gaza, which is where Hamas is mostly located, may never do any of this. People will be quick to blame Israel for its failings. Claiming Israel prevents it’s from developing but this is false and is simply justification for Hamas to fire over more rockets at Israel.

Israel left Gaza in 2005 (after building and then destroying settlements) in the hopes Gaza could develop. But Hamas locks up its own people who try to work toward peace and is against many progressive ideals we have in the US like same sex marriage. Hamas instigated protestors in east Jerusalem which led them to throwing bricks over the wall which injured Israeli’s. This instigated a police force to control the riots.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants nothing to inflict chaos in Israel. Imagine living next to organization like this both for Palestinians and Israelis.

It was Jerusalem day for Israel which celebrated gaining back Jerusalem from the 1967 war and it was Ramadan for the Muslim community. These two holidays coinciding, created a recipe for disaster when these events unfolded.

On social media this is where we saw a true bifurcation in narrative.

After the Israeli police raided where the bricks were being thrown from inside the Mosque (which was in retaliation to settlements), it gave Hamas which is located on the complete other side of Israel in the Gaza strip, the rationale they needed to bomb Israel again.

Hamas has sent over 500 rockets aiming to kill innocent people. Thanks to a defense system iron dome was able to stop most of the rockets. Still, 6 Israeli’s have died and over 100 have been injured. Schools and hospitals have been destroyed.

For all the woke people caring about human life, I find it ironic I haven’t seen one post talking about the hurting on both sides.

Objectively clearly Gaza has more causalities. But if you’re so woke, wouldn’t you talk about the deaths occurring on both sides?

Israel retaliated to the terrorist bombs in their country by sending over air strikes and killing over 50 innocent civilians. The innocent people dying is horrible and never, ever, justified. In the process, they were able to kill the leader of Hamas and more than a dozen top officials. They also destroyed a key R&D office space for Hamas.

Time will tell if this slows down Hamas and the rocket launches at Israel.

The narrative needs to be focused on removing Hamas from power so that Palestinians can have a path towards self-actualization.

We need to discuss how Gaza can become demilitarized so Israel doesn’t feel like it needs to monitor every aspect of Gaza.

Jerusalem is a holy site for people around the world and should be accessible for all.

Israel has the capacity to properly develop and create progressive infrastructure across the West Bank. I hope Israeli’s and Palestinian’s can live amongst each other and benefit from these developments. I’m afraid if Israel doesn’t help develop the West Bank, it never will get developed.