I am desensitized and that scares me. While spending summer 2014 studying in Israel during Operation Protective Edge, I was desensitized. Running to bomb shelters almost daily, no matter what part of the State I was in, was not unusual. Getting Red Alerts on my phone countless times a day was the norm. And still, my life carried on with little change. I was desensitized to the horror and inhumanity of war, cruelty, and violence even though I was living it myself. I was desensitized then and that scares me.

Witnessing this new wave of terror against Israel over the last couple months, I am once again desensitized. I find myself in a somewhat similar scenario to the one I was in a year and a half ago; I continue getting the news notifications on my phone every time someone is visciously smitten with a knife, shot with a gun, or run over with a car. The pain I feel is inexplicable and I keep Israel and her people in my prayers every single day. And still, my life, and the lives of those around me, carries on with little change. I am desensitized and that scares me.

And so I stand unaware of what to do, because our desensitizing as a society translates into even more violence. We do not do anything when terrorism grows because we have become so accustomed to it that we have stopped caring and properly responding. This gets used by so many as a means to incite hatred on all those different from them, to delegitimize the very right of the Jews to live freely in the land of Israel, and to eradicate Christian presence in the Middle East. I cannot fathom how any person or group of people can go about inciting hatred on an entire nation and succeed, and yet, I have become desensitized to it.

Terrorism often feels so distant, yet exists so near. It is time to rid ourselves not only of the detachment and desensitization so present in our lives, but also of the failure to act to end them. It is for no longer that we can allow innocent children to be afraid of riding in a car with their parents, teenagers to fear walking down the street outside their house, or any civilian to be scared of living his or her daily life for fear of being savagely murdered at the hands of terrorism. We cannot keep tolerating the cleansing of entire religions at the hands of radicals. We must end this culture of desensitization and stop turning a blind eye, because only when we feel the pain of others as our own and truly understand one another will peace be a realistic ideal. War and inhumanity scare me, but detaching and desensitizing myself and thus not attacking it head on scares me even more.

About the Author
Daniela Rojzman is a junior in the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Albert A. List College studying Political Science and Bible.
Related Topics
Related Posts