This new year didn't start so well. First of all, this economic break down of which everybody keeps talking about. An then the war in Gaza. Apparently, after Hamas sent a few rockets into some cities in Israel, the Israeli Government decided that was it and it started invading Gaza.
The war so far has been dreadful, devastating and terribly unfair for the Palestinians. Israeli, being a much more developed and richer country than Gaza, has a considerable technological advantage. Palestinians have been killed like flies or ants: hundreds at a time. The number of Palestinian casualties is now over 1000. All of this is just terrible.
It is also terrible and sad to think that this ware has been going on for 60 year, with occasional breaks. It is frustrating to think that nobody so far has been able to drive the countries to peace and to dissipate this hatred that there is among Israeli and Palestinians. Probably the situation is much more complicated than I could ever be able to understand or, even less, address in this post. Still, I do believe I have something to say.
Yesterday I went out to mail a package. The post office closer to my house in the one on Avenida Afonso Pena, one of the most important avenues in Belo Horizonte. I happen to live in the same avenue. When I was almost at the post office, I saw there were people handing in flyers and on a truck I could see Palestinians wearing their kefiahs. It didn't take me long to understand people were manifesting against the war and the way Palestinians have been decimated in these past weeks. The first feeling I had was solidariety. I was glad to see that here in belo Horizonte people were doing something for the Palestinians.
Soon after the truck passed by, my eyes fell on the people that were walking together and holding big posters. The first posters were expressing solidariety with Palestinian people, but behind them, a lot of posters were expressing hate against the state of Israel.
Suddenly, I was shocked and disgusted by the manifestation. It didn`t make any sense to me. It was completely incoherent. How can you preach solidariety to one side and hate against the other? If you really want things to be better, how can you be racist yourself? This is a war that should just not be happening!! It's not a football match, you don't take sides in a war like this! You can express solidariety againt the ones that have been damaged more...but wasn't it the Hamas who started with the rockets first? So, can we really say someone's right or someone's wrong? Isn't the purpose of a solidariety manifestation to preach peace?
So, even here in Belo Horizonte, thousands miles away from Israel, we get things all wrong...and we are not even directly involved!! What can we expect from those who are experiencing the war, then?