In a culture of free speech, there is no mechanism in place for reality checks. Institutions have been established where this freedom of speech can thrive; universities, political arenas, conferences.
Case in point:
Delivering the keynote address at the Haaretz newspaper’s Israel Conference on Peace, July 8, Philip Gordon, a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, had just such an opportunity; he had the freedom to speak. The freedom, in a forum of like-minded individuals, in a democratic country, at a conference hosted by the free press, to give his opinion and that of the President of the United States, that it is the Israeli’s government position and actions that are directly responsible for the violence that is taking place in this country.
Here is the reality check:
Just moments after he spoke, attendants at the conference had to run for cover after an alert signaled a missile approaching Tel Aviv. The people that were sending the missiles do not have a newspaper that hosts a conference where individuals have the freedom of speech and do not have the freedom to invite others to speak their minds.
It’s time to open our eyes to what is happening before we can listen to what is being said.