Dear “Facebook Friends”

Wow. Just wow.

I recently found myself speechless, and at a loss for words.

Right when I thought I had seen it all, I was proven wrong. Quite wrong.

Facebook’s most positive aspect — the ability to post anything and everything — has quickly become destructive, as a handful of my “Facebook Friends” set out on a path of misconstrued justification of terrorism.  Usually, I find myself quite interested in what others have to say — what they post publicly for the world to see. Some post regularly about the food they eat, others broadcast their personal love lives, while most, at one point or another, engage in the always-dreaded Facebook fight. Then, over the course of the last two days, a select few have taken it upon themselves to falsely rationalize terrorism in the name of “liberation.”

In the evening hours of June 8, two Palestinian men — soon-to-be terrorists — sat down at the Max Brenner Restaurant in the Sarona Plaza of Tel Aviv.  Dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, they successfully disguised themselves among the upscale clientele of the internationally recognized eatery.  After ordering food, and carefully deciding in which order they would attack the civilians surrounding them, they committed the world’s most heinous crime – unprovoked murder. Taking hidden guns out of their suitcases, the two cousins from the West Bank town of Hebron changed the lives of countless Israelis and Palestinians forever.  In a final tally announced by the Ichilov Hospital, 4 civilians were murdered and an additional 16 were hospitalized – some of whom are still fighting for their lives. A Father was killed in front of his wife and kids.  An engaged woman murdered while waiting for her fiancé. A professor taken far before he could accomplish the peace he yearned for. And a mother of four executed during her 40th, and sadly last, birthday celebration.

Israeli Security Forces at the scene of the Max Brenner Terrorist Attack on June 8, 2016
Israeli Security Forces at the scene of the Max Brenner Terrorist Attack on June 8, 2016

 

To these “Facebook Friends” of mine, this murderous terrorist attack should to be remembered as a “heroic act of resistance.” Unfortunately, they actually believe this rhetoric. Through the use of Facebook and other social media platforms, they are spreading this misconception to the global and interconnected online world.

In the eyes of these “Friends,” a carefully planned and executed shooting attack by Palestinians deep inside of Israeli territory is virtually the same thing as Palestinian children burning dumpsters in East Jerusalem – “resistance.” They view all Israeli citizens and tourists in Israel, both Jewish and not, as agents of the Israeli government.  Disregarding one’s political identification, Israelis and Jews alike are “Zionist pigs” and “settlers on the Palestinian land” in the eyes of these individuals.

Just like terrorists themselves, my “Friends” don’t discriminate. Rather than advocating for sustainable peace, they perpetuate violence and blind hatred. Instead of lobbying the International Community and Palestinian Authority to sit down with Israel for direct land negotiations and peace talks, they seek to wipe the Jewish state off the map.  Instead of concentrating their efforts for constructive purposes and desires of peace, they have slowly turned themselves into agents of Mahmoud Abbas’ failing and corrupt government.  How great it must be for Abu Mazen to have a dedicated and diverse group of foreign agents of his reign.

But don’t be tricked!

For these individuals, it is quite easy to justify Wednesday’s terrorist act.  They effectively have no idea what terrorism even is!  They have lived the entirety of their lives in a northeast American suburb where feeling unsafe is a matter of words, not bullets.  Bombs blowing up and radically inspired lone wolf attacks are only imaginary. Their gated communities and lavish possessions depict a privileged lifestyle filled with prestige and inflated self-worth.  Their liberally induced love for social justice has effectively perverted their minds.  They preach democracy and liberal values of equality and egalitarianism, but are blind to such breaches of human rights under the Palestinian Authority.

So, “Facebook Friends,” I have a much overdo message to share with you all.  We will no longer be sharing this mutual title of “Friend”.  Why? Well, the answer is quite simple. While I am frantically calling my real friends in Tel Aviv hoping that they didn’t choose to dine out in Sarona, I don’t need to read your thoughts on how their potential death “is in aspiration for peace.”

There are two sides of this conflict, and you can only choose one: those who perpetuate the violence, and those who condemn it.

I challenge all of my remaining “Facebook Friends” to condemn it.

About the Author
Simon Luxemburg is a college student at Connecticut College studying International Relations and Economics. He has a deep interest in Counter-Terrorism & Security Studies, and plans to pursue a future in Government.
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