Whenever Israel and the Middle-East in particular are on the verge of or in an actual war, the protests occur again. In the Netherlands this means that pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups assemble and protest, for example in The Hague. There is nothing wrong with telling society how terrible or unfair the situation is. In fact genuine critique and honest opinions can add relevant information to the matter in the media.
There is also the issue of threats. When people disagree about something physical harm and violence should always be avoided if you ask me. According to some reports explicit threats were expressed against the Jews and Israel. Sure enough, many Muslims are angry about the Israel-Gaza situation that is making headlines. There are always reasons and sometimes angry people express their anger very explicitly.
The paragraphs above relate to anti-Semitism and anti-religion attitudes which divide many people. Anti-Semitism is generally interpreted as hostility towards the Jewish faith. Anti-religion goes further and declares all religions of the world non sense with regards to deities, related practices, related rituals, related heroes and related symbols.
Recently I wrote about the Israel-Gaza situation. It either makes me a cynic, apathetic or I can stay hopeful. More than anything I find that peace is still possible. If religion is at the root of the situation, then remove religion from the political process. Europe was in religious turmoil for centuries and the anti-religion attitude still has a valid reason for existing, “religiously motivated violence”.
In the end the pro-Israel and pro-Gaza people can say what they want. Thing is, on both sides violence and casualties are the result of an armed conflict between a Jewish state and Muslim guerilla warriors. Both sides have their reasons. Both sides can also “not” use violence to make their respective points and people will listen. Bullets and bombs kill, polite words invite to listen.
The people who complain about anti-Semitism and anti-religious criticism should read more history books. Purges and violence have done unspeakable harm and thus people turned their back on religion. In the name of Yahweh, God, Allah, Jesus or whichever deity people preferred, others have been tortured and killed. I turned my back on religion because people used religion in their own interests, “interpretation and self-gratification”.
I hope the political leaders in Israel and Gaza stop the violence. People, countries and peace are at stake.
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Regarding religion, anti-semitism and anti-religion look into the history and tradition of humanist writers from Europe. Until the Enlightenment movement the Church and state in Europe were sometimes directly and indirectly responsible for religious purges and persecutions. Everyone who was labelled a heretic or dangerous for whatever was a target. The library is the best place for sources here.
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