Guns and Social Media; Two Things That Some People Shouldn’t Touch
What does it say about you, your perspective, and your cause when you use lies, falsehoods, threats and slander to make your point?
That is the question I have been asking about social media images of Syrian wounded being use as “evidence of Israeli atrocities” in Gaza. One particularly disgraceful image showed an Israeli family of 5 that had been murdered in a terrorist attack, claiming they were Gaza residents slaughtered by Israel.
It is the question I have been asking myself when it finally came to light that the reason we were not seeing images of Hamas terrorists or the locations of missile sites in school, hospitals, and civilian population centers was because Hamas has been threatening and intimidating reporters.
And it is the question I asked myself when I saw this disgusting tweet…
To his credit, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, a well-known and highly respected religious leader and the author of Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence, took the high road and, when sharing the tweet noted,
I share these horrible things that come my way for two reasons: it helps to feel less alone, and it exposes the unwillingness of many to see that an anti #GunViolence activist is the same person, through and through, when they (I) defend their family from 3000± terrorists’ missiles.#NotOneMore”
For me, however, the slander actually served to put forth my questions and allowed me to begin to understand what is going on here. And although I do not like the conclusions to which I am arriving, it is better to have those answers than simply continue to sit pondering the question of why Israel is being vilified in so many corners of the world.
Allow me to explain what I mean.
Rabbi Creditor is a Gun Violence activist, who believes that responsible gun ownership requires a legal framework that makes it more difficult for irresponsible, criminal, or mentally-ill people to acquire lethal weapons.
The key phrase here is “responsible gun ownership. Rabbi Creditor is not anti-violence. The key phrase here is “responsible gun ownership. Rabbi Creditor is not anti-gun. He is anti-gun violence. He knows and understands that the first step toward reducing our epidemic of gun violence is to enforce existing gun safety laws and introduce universal background checks.
That is an important distinction that is all-too-often lost on the public, who are constantly bombarded with messages from the gun lobby.
Sadly, we live in a world of soundbites where nuance, background, context, and subtlety are not valued.
It is that same distinction that has led to much of the misunderstandings with regard to the conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists. The author of that tweet glosses over the fact that Israel has accepted every cease-fire proposed by Egypt, and Hamas has either rejected it or broken it within minutes.
The author of that tweet glosses over the fact that Israel repeatedly asked Hamas to stop firing missiles, and they only responded when the missiles kept targeting Israeli civilian centers. The tweet’s author ignored the fact that the Israeli ground invasion only began after Israel discovered a complex series of tunnels that were to be used to kill Israeli men, women, and children. The author shamefully disregarded the — now verified repeatedly — fact that Hamas intentionally puts women and children in strategic locations to act as human shields.
The author will never understand that by attacking Rabbi Creditor, he is slandering someone who is working to save the members of the author’s own family. And by supporting Hamas, it is he — not the rabbi — who is making a choice to have Palestinian AND Israeli children killed.
It is a disgraceful way to use social media, and sadly there is far took much of it happening.
So I return to my initial questions.
What does it say about you, your perspective, and your cause when you use lies, falsehoods, and threats to make your point?
What does it say about your cause when you have to use fake images to make your point?
What does it say about your cause when you need to threaten others for fear they might tell the truth?
What does it say about your cause when you need to resort to slander and misrepresentation to spread your word?
I have my answers, but other than saying that neither the author of that tweet nor the terrorists who support understand morality or the value of life, I will leave you to come to your own.