It is human nature to look for a cause in every situation. Humans do not like to feel out uncertainty or lack of control, and if we don’t know whom to blame, then we will have to live with the doubt that maybe, just maybe, we cannot prevent everything bad that happens in the world.
But blaming is the worst thing we can do. It destroys relationships, and doesn’t actually lead to anything better.
If I blame my husband and best friend for being stuck in a traffic jam because he chose to drive a certain route, I am hoping this will prevent him from being late again. (I am probably even hoping that it will change what just happened now.) The sad truth, though, is that what really happens when I blame him is that my mind will then drag up all sorts of similar instances of lateness, and I will subconsciously change my image of my best friend into a less positive image. I have just lost my perfect partner and traded him in for someone far less likable. He suffers, my kids suffer, and I suffer. And, of course, that does not take back the fact that he was late. All I will have accomplished is weakening my strongest, most vital relationship.
In the case of the kidnapping of the three boys from Gush Etzion, the blaming that has been in the media is certainly not going to bring the boys back. It is also going to make us a far weaker nation. And, the blame is bring cast upon the wrong parties.
On Friday afternoon, a Galei Tzahal broadcaster made no secret of his criticism of the three boys for hitchhiking. While I am grateful that my children don’t hitch rides, in the case of hitching in Gush Etzion, this is something that happens every minute of every day. The probability of danger from hitching there is less than the probability of being run over while crossing in a crosswalk. We are not talking about “taking one’s life into one’s hands.” Please don’t hitch, but don’t blame these kids.
The fault, the blame, the evil, lies solely in the hands of the kidnappers, the terror organizations, and their supporters. Let’s remember that.
Journalist Rina Matzliah also fished for blame victims, placing the fault on the heads of the Israeli government, for not having a building freeze in the Jewish towns in Yehuda and the Shomron. She is wrong on so many counts it is almost funny. No, there was no official freeze on construction. However, in practice, there has been no construction.
Also, did the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes in Munich in ’72 not predate almost every Jewish town in Yehuda? As dud the murder of 24 children in Maalotin ’74. The massacre of 67 Jews in Hevron in 1929 predates the State of Israel, never mind the “occupation” since the 6 Day War. In fact, the PLO terror organization was created in 18964, three years before we destroyed the (non-existent) Paliestinian State and stole all their land. It’s hard to buy your lies, Ms Mazliah. Abu Mazen and co. have been killing Jews for 50 or 150 years now, regardless of what we do or where in our land we build our houses
This morning, the police were “tried” by the media for not taking the first phone call by one of the boys seriously. But does the media (or their audience) have any idea how many similar calls are received by the police each day, that are found to be prank calls?
The blame game that these journalists are playing weakens us for three reasons:
– We come to hate each other, our own brothers, the only people on whom we will ever truly be able to rely
– It weakens our fight against our true enemy, the Paliestinian Authority and the kidnappers they are currently assisting (by destroying security footage, among other means)
– It is simply untrue. We have to accept that nothing we do can completely prevent our enemies from hurting us . As mature adults, it is time for us to accept that just a there is a certain uncertainty as to whether we will develop cancer at some point in our lives, no matter how healthy our habits are, we cannot immunize ourselves against an enemy that is sworn to destroy us.
That said, we do have one tool in our fight against our enemies, of which my six year old reminded me.
On Sundays, she learns stories from the Tanach with Rav Levi Sudri after school. Last week, they learnt how evil King Ahav and Queen Izevel were. But, our tradition tells us, in the time of King Ahav and Queen Izevel, Israel suffered no losses in wars against outside enemies. We are taught that the cause of this true peace, was that in that generation, Jews did not tell tales about each other.
I’d like to try that recipe for a change. And I invite you to join me in quitting the Blame Game. I want to stop talking Lashon Hara and criticizing specific people or groups of people to others. There is no doubt that blaming the easiest target is not helping find our boys. Therefore, I want to focus on solving problems, without wasting my energy on finger-pointing. This may or may not help find our boys. I am willing to live with that uncertainty, which I accept along with the certainty that I am not making things worse.