My friend Aboud Dandachi is a Syrian refugee living in Turkey. He grew up believing Israel was a hostile country, pretty standard for those parts. In 2011, he had just bought a home in Homs, his hometown (say that three times fast). It was a simple town, where Aboud had a small business. But suddenly the town became the capital of a revolution. He was forced to leave. And when he did, what he found were the “friends of Syria,” shut their borders to those seeking refuge. More shocking to him was finding that Israel was treating wounded refugees in the Golan Heights, the border of the two countries.
He saw the truth.
And again, even today, Aboud is in a unique position to not only see the truth, but speak it. In this day and age, I often find that I rely more on social media for the “news” than actual media outlets. This is because many of my friends have varying opinions, and I can read what they have to say without second-guessing if they wrote that as a headline to make me buy the article, or sell the commercial afterwards. Media outlets are not supposed to have opinions, but to quote one of my favorite pop groups of all time, Salt ‘N’ Pepper, “opinions are like assholes, and everyone’s got one.” So while, they, the media, would like to think they are objective, we the audience cringe at the supposed information and breaking news they are giving us.
Today Aboud wrote:
Dear Europe. I’m sorry, our worst fears seem to have been realized when it comes to refugees. I’ve been following a Twitter account that keeps track of Syrian and Iraqi militiamen from both sides that trekked into Europe to seek asylum in Germany and Sweden. There are a lot I’m afraid, all verified.
The West’s sense of decency and humanity may be its undoing. By all means take in the desperate but for your own sake you…have…to…vet them! Canada is planning to take in 25,000 Syrians within 6 weeks. Even assuming none of them are a security risk, the medical and criminal checks alone will take weeks.
Of course some groups pose a very low security risk. The Yazidis, families consisting of widows and young children. As a single young man, I can wait. I’d rather spend two years being vetted properly than have a system that rushes applicants through, compromising the safety of a country I’ve never been to but which over the past few years I’ve learned to love through the amazingly warm and kind friends I’ve made who live there.
Canada is without a doubt the best place in the world to live in, and I say this as someone who has lived in more than half a dozen countries. I want to see it stays that way frown emoticon
Aboud can say this, where if most of us think this today, it is considered racist or some form of offensive.
And just like that, a few scrolls down my Facebook feed and I find a film that exactly dictates this notion of the “potential dangers of our increasingly reactionary culture bred by…political correctness,” according to the film’s writer and director Neel Kolhatkar. The film, “Modern Educayshun,” is set in a high school math class, but as the new student quickly learns, even when it comes to numbers, we must be sensitive, no longer relying on facts, but rather feelings. One plus one does not equal two, but rather “multiculturalism.” The movie mocks today’s social norms, and spoiler alert, those that are so politically correct, must kill to prove it.
The irony is not lost on me when it comes to the same social justice injustice placed on Israel, whether in the media or on college campus. Zionism has become a dirty word. And while I see the college group, “Students for Justice in Palestine,” as a hilarious recurring SNL sketch, they appear to be real people, who many other real people accept. They are the modern day hippies, except instead of smoking pot and burning bras, they are burning truths and smoking lies.
And as much as I can appreciate my friends’ opinions, I can see that not everyone on Facebook does. In fact, those who are naked with their truth, must fight a battle of harsh critics, calling them names and making assumptions. And on the other side, I see those covering up their feelings with poetic jargon or sensitive language Disney might use, are scolded for being too careful.
So we as a society are stuck. We need people like Aboud to speak the truth since if I said the same thing, I would go down in flames (again the burning of truth). And we need filmmakers that can see through the bullshit of a oversynthetized society that would rather live in a political correct denial than accept the results of a simple math equation.
When I watch this film, I see the brutality of BDS. Time and time again the fight to boycott Israel products leaves Palestinians without jobs or economic security. But then that doesn’t seem to be the point of those fighting for them. At a closer look, or as this film mocks, our success is in the rooting of our demise. That’s some dark shit. That’s where we’re at in Israel. Dark times where media headlines justify murder and murder justifies the right to self-determination. And self-determination means no rules. No rules means no accuracy. No accuracy means no facts. No facts means no reality. No reality means the end, I guess.
Like I said, some dark shit. At the same time, Israel refuses to give up on the light. While one arm battles BDS morons, the other is making a medical breakthrough, selling another start up, solar paneling the desert, solving the world’s water crisis, creating the most perfect falafel ball for me to eat, or just laughing at ourselves to get through it.